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Full text of "The vision of prophecy, and other poems"



FROM THE LIBRARY OF 
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 



sc6 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/vihecyOOburn 



THE V^ 

VISION OF PROPHECY, 



OTHER POEMS. 



JAMES D. BURNS, M.A. 



EDINBURGH : 
JOHNSTONE & HUNTEE. 



M.DCCC.LIV. 



EDINBURGH: 

PRINTED BY JOHNSTONE AND HUNTER, 

HIGH STREET. 



No laurel leaves, no sweet unfading flowers, 
Bloom in the garland of these simple lines ; 

They are but rushes woven in random hours, 
Like those some lonely shepherd-boy entwines : 

The while his fingers plait the scentless wreath, 
He finds some pleasure in his idle skill ; 

At even, he leaves it withering on the heath, 
Or strews its fragments on the moorland rill. 



CONTENTS. 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY 

THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH 

THE BURIAL OF JACOB 

ICHABOD 

THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT 

THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR 

SONNET — PRESENTIMENT . 

SONNET — PROVIDENCE 

THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA, THE WIFE OF 

THE VINE OF NOAH : A HEBREW LEGEND . 

THE TEMPLE OF SAIS 

THE PILGRIMS : AN APOLOGUE 

THE ABBOT AND FOOL 

THE BIRD AND THE BEE . 

THE PEASANT AND THE POET 

TO WORDSWORTH 

THOUGHT ON A ROSE 

SONNET — IMAGINATION . 

THE VESPER HOUR . 



21 

27 
36 
40 
47 
56 
57 
58 
70 
73 
75 
84 
86 
88 
96 
118 
119 
120 



VI 



CONTEXTS. 



PROVIDENCE 



MOONLIGHT 

A NIGHT REVERIE 

LINES TO A STAR 

lines — alexander weeping 
the flower and oak- shoot 
the petrel 

sequel to the foregoing 
timoleon : a greek story of : 
stratonice 
attila at aquileia 
mohammed at damascus 
the prince and the widow 

BAALBEK 

THE RUINED CHAPEL 

LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT 

THE JARDIM DE SERRA 

THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL 

THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS . 

SONNET — A VINTAGE SKETCH 

SONNET — EVENING PICTURE 

PORTO SANTO . 

THE GOLD-SEEKER'S SONG 

RHYMES OF A VIGIL . 

SONNET .... 



A FANCY 



CLAVr.RHOUSE . 

THE PICTURE OF A MARTYRDOM 

THE GRAVE OF DODDRIDGE AT LISBON 



CONTENTS. 



RUINS OF CARTEIA .... 

THE BAY OF BARCELONA . 

CORTONA ...... 

INCISA ...... 

DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE 

MY FIRST BIRTHDAY IN A FOREIGN LAND 

THE DIAL AND FOUNTAIN . 

TO A FRIEND IN THE MINISTRY 

SONNET .... 

BOAZ AND THE REAPERS . 

A REMEMBRANCE 

A PARABLE-MIRACLE 

HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS \ — 

"O THOU! WHOSE TENDER FEET HAVE TROD" 

"WE SADLY WATCHED THE CLOSE OF ALL" 

"YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM" 

"O, IN THE DARK AND STORMY NIGHT" 

" THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FLOCK" 

SABBATH EVENING .... 

"LET NOT YOUR HEART BE troubled" 

TRUTH 

"FAITH WORKETH BY love" 

A REQUIEM 

THE DEATH OF A BELIEVER 

A THOUGHT AT EVENING . 

" THE LIGHT THAT LED ASTRAA'" 

"ALL SAINTED SOULS, LORD, ARE THE CHORDS" 

THE DEATH OF AN INFANT 



Vlll 



CONTEXTS. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS— CONTINUED : 

A THOUGHT OX TIME . 

LINES 

HUMILITY .... 

TO A CHRISTIAN FRIEND . 

" HE ARIDETH FAITHFUL" . 

RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS 

THE SINNER'S HOPE . 

"NOT, LORD ! UNTO THAT MOUNT OF DREAD" 

TO A FRIEND DEPARTED 

MEMORIAL LINES 

SONNET — FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE AT THE SEPULCHRE 

"THOUGH LONG THE WANDERER MAY DEPART" . 
ATLANTIS : — 

PART I 

PART II 

NOTES TO ATLANTIS 



253 

254 
255 
25S 
260 
262 
264 
266 
268 
270 
272 
273 

277 
288 
299 



THE VISION OF PEOPHECY. 



ARGUMENT. 

The destinies of the world controlled by the Spirit of God, and 
announced by Him to man directly, or through the Hebrew 
Prophets (i.) — First announcement of a Eedeemer coeval with 
the Fall (n.) — Clearer revelations made in after-times to the 
same effect : this the crowning theme, or " spirit of Prophecy" 
(in.-v.) — The fortunes of the Jewish people particularly fore- 
told and verified (vi.-viii.) — Those also of the descendants of 
Ishmael (IX.) — Prophecy verified in the overthrow and degra- 
dation of ancient empires and cities : Xineveh, Babylon, Tyre, 
and Egypt (x.-xn.) — In the succession of the four empires of 
the Old World (xiii.) — In the rise of the Antichristian power 
(xiv.) — Its calls to guilty nations, and threat enings of retri- 
bution (xv., xvi.) — The final triumph of a kingdom of right- 
eousness and peace (xvir.) 

I. 
O'er earth's tumultuous changes 
A Spirit rules, and guides the course of Time ; 
High vaulted o'er the stars' aerial ranges 
A temple towers, and from that height sublime 

B 



10 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

A voice oracular hath sounded clear ; 

Of old the generations heard, 

In hymns of hope, or chants of fear, 

Heaven's challenge to the world's regard 

Ee-echoed from the Hebrew lyre, — 

Deep intonations of the priest 

Whose lips had felt the purging touch of fire. 

That sacred music rings from age to age, 

Its ancient virtue hath not ceased : 

The prophets are not ; but the Holy Page 

Is through all time the mystic truth revealing, — 

The Word is to the World appealing. 

ii. 

Thou, Everlasting Spirit ! 

Who on the weltering deep didst move, and call 

From darkness this fair world which we inherit, 

Hast fixed Thine eye upon it throughout all 

The restless movement of its onward way. 

Thou didst forecast its horoscope, 

And, in its springing woes, allay 

Its terror with Thy voice of hope. 

When man unlinked the golden chain 

From which earth hung insphered with Heaven, 

And wept to see the primal glory wane, 

Thy voice was heard from out the darkened skies : 

A vision blest by Thee was given, 

A glimpse of dim-foreshadowed destinies; — 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 11 

Thou didst, even then, the trembling hope awaken, 
That he was not cast forth forsaken. 

in. 
Far down the thronging ages 
The vision of a better time appears ; 
It slowly brightens out of dim presages, 
And takes corporeal shape through lapse of years. 
With gladness then the wandering patriarchs saw 
A far-off Coming bless the earth ; 
In Syrian tents they watched with awe 
The unfolding mystery of His birth. 
Then Zion's consecrated shrine 
Became an oracle ; and there, 
In daily sacrifice, and type, and sign, 
The great Redemption and its issues grave 
Were mirrored to the worshipper. 
To every temple-rite that Spirit gave 
Its sacred sense. His voice of hope to mortals 
Was issuing through the guarded portals. 

IV. 

How clear the strains which sounded 

From ravishing harps, touched with no earthly skill ! 

Though then the compass of their notes was bounded, 

The unutterable burden lingers still. 

Sweet from the holy mountain, temple-crowned, 

The heaven-breathed hymn stole up the air ; 



12 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

While surges of harmonious sound, 

From cymbal, trump, and dulcimer, 

In solemn undulations rolled 

Around the pillared courts at even, — 

High chants, in which the minstrel-king foretold 

The peaceful glories of a sinless reign ; 

Or in the stately cadence given 

To rapt Isaiah's deep and passioned strain. 

Hark ! how the jubilant song swells ever clearer 

As Earth beholds its Saviour nearer. 

v. 
He was thy theme of glory, 
Prophecy ! He fixed thine eye from far : 
His was the name that faltered through thy story,- 
His was thy Sceptre, — His thy Eastern Star ! 
With joy didst thou behold the heavenly Child 
In Bethlehem born in lowly guise, 
And the meek mother, undefiled, 
Droop over Him her dove-like eyes ; 
Thou didst behold the sorrowing Man, — 
Didst follow Him through want and woe, — 
Wast His first mourner, for thine eye outran 
The passage of His days, and wept to see 
Afar the sinless Sufferer bow 
His bleeding temples on the bitter tree. 
Thou, too, didst first proclaim Salvation 
Through that divine and dread Oblation. 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 13 



VI. 

By thy high sanctions guarded, 

The father of the faithful held his hope ; 

Thy sacred voice his steady trust rewarded, 

What time he stood beneath Heaven's cloudless cope 

And, in the starry troops that filled the skies, 

And round its azure limits stood, 

Beheld his own proud destinies, — 

The innumerable multitude 

That should arise, and call him blest. 

Thou didst the chosen people guide, 

And cheer the weary tribes with hopes of rest, 

When wandering on through deserts, faint and slow, — 

Under thy covering shadow hide 

Their tents from harm ; in cloud and flame didst move 

Before their armies, till, in Canaan's borders, 

They settled in their peaceful orders. 

VII. 

Fair vision ! but soon blighted, 

When altars rose to Ashtaroth and Baal, 

And then thy voice, the voice of Him they slighted, 

Arose in mournful and indignant wail : 

Lo ! as it rose their weakened tribes were driven 

Before the foes they once had quelled ; 

Their lock of strength was shorn, and Heaven 

The alliance of its stars withheld ; 



14 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

From king to king, from age to age, 
The inveterate spirit lives and spreads ; 
And deeper grew thy voice of sad presage, 
And darker gathered thy avenging cloud, 
Till on their bold defiant heads 
The levin bolt is loosed, and rattles loud ; 
Their cities fall, their tribes are rent asunder, 
To be the world's undying wonder. 



VIII. 

Far through the nations scattered, 

Thy shadow tracks the wandering Hebrew still ; 

Each, like the loose stones of some temple shattered 

By lightning on an overlooking hill, 

Carries upon his front the fated brand. 

Behold him, as he walks apart, 

A dweller in some western land, — 

A trafficker in every mart, 

Distinguished in the crowd from each. 

Their fatherland is his by birth, 

He breathes the accents of their mother-speech ; 

Yet in his features view the deep-struck seal 

That stamps the race forlorn on earth. 

So through a lake a separate stream may steal, 

Work onwards with a constant calm endeavour 

Through it, but mingle with it never. 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 15 



IX. 

Thy power in desert places, 

Where, by the palm, the Arab plants his lance, 

Is felt ; it filled them with these wandering races, 

Loose-settled in a wide inheritance. 

When Sarah's toil-worn fugitive her child 

Beneath the shrubs laid down to die, 

A voice, of fortunes strange and wild, 

Spoke trumpet-like from out the sky : 

Twelve princes from the outcast sprung, 

And trained their tribes to ruthless war. 

Untameable as eagles, they have flung 

Each yoke aside to which the nations bowed, 

And o'er their ranks a bloody star 

Hath shone auspicious, through the battle-cloud. 

Above their tents, in the low deserts lying, 

Thy voice, Prophecy ! is crying. 

x. 

On many a mound of ruin 

Thy dark-stoled phantom sits, and ever sings 

Of guilty glory, and its sure undoing. 

Speak, ye who opened Nineveh's Hall of Kings ! — 

Ye who have passed by Nimroud's mound ! 

For ye have seen her : ye can tell 

How on you, as ye looked around, 

The mystery of her presence fell. 



16 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

Long hath thy shadow lingered there ; 
Thou, on that night of fear and blood, 
"When old Euphrates saw his channels bare, 
Didst move before the Persian, as his guide, 
Up the dark hollows of the flood, 
And blew the summoning trumpet at his side ; 
The worshipper of fire, by thee anointed, 
Wrought to an issue pre-appointed. 



XI. 

Where Tyre once saw the splendour 

Of marble structures mirrored in her bay, 

And snow-white temples in the sunshine render 

More dazzling radiance to the light of day, 

The waves break mournfully o'er broken piles, 

Thy voice breathes from them like a dirge. 

When Macedon's far-glittering files 

Begirt her ramparts, thou didst urge 

Their captain to his dread commission ; 

He, as a sword in the hand of God, 

Struck higher than the mark of his ambition ; — 

She falls, revives, decays, till wasting years 

Have blown her very dust abroad. 

The unconscious fisher on her shell-grown piers 

Spreads out his nets ; and, from afar beholding, 

Men mark thy roll of woes unfolding. 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 17 

i 

XII. 

What memories round thee cluster, 

Egypt ! from the dim depths of the past: 

Art from thy temples once diffused its lustre, 

And round thee Science mystic influence cast. 

Eldest of kingdoms, and the proudest long, 

Alas, how sunken art thou now ! 

Vengeance on thee hath laid her strong, 

Her iron hand, and brought thee low. 

The ancient doom still works in thee, 

Fore-uttered in thy day of fame, 

" Basest of kingdoms, Egypt, thou shalt be!" 

A race of slaves has stolen to Pharaoh's throne, — 

Thou art not dead, but this thy shame 

Is worse than death. "We sadly look upon 

Thy mummied features, and thy Pyramids hoary, 

The head-stones of a grave of glory. 

XIII. 

While the crowned Chaldean slumbered, 
Thou didst undrape to him thy fateful glass, 
Prophetic Spirit ! there distinctly numbered, 
He saw with fear four sceptred phantoms pass. 
Xo Daniel need come shrouded from the dead 
To expound the vision now to men, 
In Time's fulfilling li^ht we read 
The destinies so darkened then. 



18 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

Four mighty empires did expand 
Their cloudy wings: the mystic stone, 
Hewn from the mountain by no visible hand, 
Hath struck their towering pride, and laid it low. 
The broad foundations of a throne 
That shakes not are now laid ; one final blow, 
And Antichrist, with his usurping Prophet, 
Is hurled into the kindling Tophet. 



XIV. 

The mitred Man Apostate 

Sits in the seven-hilled city's princely chair; 

He long hath worn the purple, long hath boasted 

That favouring Heaven hath crowned, and kept him 

there ; 
With saintly blood his scarlet vestments shine; 
He holds a sorcerer's cup, and deep 
The nations of the enchanted wine 
Have drunk, and sunken into sleep. 
The souls beneath the altar cry 
For vengeance, and the saints oppressed 
On earth to the importunate call reply. 
Even now impends thy doom, proud Babylon ! 
Thy vassal kingdoms of the West 
Will rise in wrath, and hurl thee from thy throne. 
Soon will the sceptre of thy state be broken, — 
The irrevocable word is spoken. 



THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 19 



XV. 

In accents wild and mournful, 

Thy voice entreats a fallen world to rise, 

Prophecy ! Infatuate and scornful, 

It recks not of its awful destinies ; 

The oppressor under thy uplifted rod 

Still waves his reddening scourge of guilt, 

Still murmurs in the ear of God 

The cry of blood by brothers spilt ; 

The generations groan with woe; 

With giant stride Vice walks the earth, 

And Evil spreads in darker, deadlier flow, 

A deluge more appalling than of old ; 

And Pleasure revels loud, and Mirth 

Entwines her rose-wreath ; Avarice, for gold, 

Leads forth her pilgrims over seas and mountains, 

And Gain still thirsts for fresher fountains. 

xvi. 
With lurid splendour glowing, 
Thy cyphers stand on the world's girdling wall, 
But no Belshazzar on the siorn is thro win 2; 
A fearful eye, or lets the wine-cup fall ; 
Unheeded are the few interpreters 
"Who, lifting faithful voices loud, 
Expound the cryptic characters, 
Amidst the riot of the crowd ; — 



20 THE VISION OF PROPHECY. 

But, ye kings! in time be wise! — 
Ye nations ! hear the dread command, — 
Awake from sensual slumber, ere the skies 
Are cloven, and the strong all- shattering blast 
Proclaims the reckoning at hand, 
And the long day of visitation past. 
Unmoved ye hear the summons to repentance, — 
Unpitied must ye bide the sentence. 

XVII. 

Even now thy latest vision, 

Thy loveliest, brightens through the mists of Time. 

The day-spring breaks, — a purple light Elysian 

Through the clear ether gladdens every clime. 

The idols fall unsceptred from their thrones ; 

Hushed is the stormy trump of War, — 

Its pageantry is past, its groans, 

And the loud crashing of its car ; 

The choral song of gladness swells 

From Arctic lands and Austral isles ; 

Peace, like an undeparting angel, dwells 

On earth, and Rachel's wail is heard no more ; 

Hope sweetly sheds her rainbow smiles ; 

Salvation lifts the cross on every shore. 

Come, then, Lord Jesus! all creation groaneth, — 

Thy bride her absent Spouse bemoaneth! 



THE CAYE OF MACIIPELAII. 21 



THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH. 



Beneath the stately Pyramids of old 

Cheops might bury his imperial bones, 
And all his sons, in fragrant cerements rolled, 

Crowd the dark vaults with royal skeletons ; 
As if a king required an ampler space 
To sleep in than the rabble of the race. 

That wonder of the elder world, the pile 

By faithful Artemisia sadly raised 
To her loved Carian, hoping to beguile 

A life-long grief, might merit to be praised : 
A dome, the memory of whose antique fame 
Has given each sumptuous sepulchre a name. 

But thou, Judean sepulchre and cave! 

By no such hands wast hewn, nor wert thou decked 
With fluted column, frieze, and architrave, 

Elaborate sculpture of the architect! 
Yet at the thought of thee my bosom swells, 
And oft beside thee mournful memory dwells. 



22 THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH. 

I see where, in the depth of pastoral hills, 
An Eastern city lies, and near the gates 

The solemn grove that shades thee, — Fancy fills 
The interspace with forms which it creates; 

And all thy dead, before my dreamy eyes, 

In long and shadowy procession rise. 

My mind recalls thee on that doleful day, 
When from his place, beside his Sarah's bier, 

The patriarch rose, and calmed his passion's sway, — 
While all the dark-robed Hittites gathered near, — 

And courteously entreated for his dead 

A sepulchre, and bowed his reverend head. 

The children of the land with grief were touched, 

And Ephron with mild dignity arose ; 
Quick to the generous impulse, he avouched 

His wish to yield him freely what he chose. 
Then in thy empty vault he sought the right 
To bury his beloved from his sight. 

Strange that the first inheritance he owned 
In all the breadth of Canaan was a grave, 

And a few roods around ; that the sole bond 
Or charter God, through years of trial, gave 

To him whose seed was Canaan's later heir, 

Was that by which he claimed a sepulchre ! 



THE CAVE OF MACIIPELAII. 23 

It seemed a slender and a mournful tie 

From which to hang so much ; but that old faith 

Sought not a stronger pledge ; yea, could rely 
Through life on the bare promise, and in death ; 

Brought future hopes within the sphere of sense, 

And gave the unseen a present evidence. 

No patriarch had a home : the grassy dells, 
In which his sheep and camels browse to-day, 

To-morrow are deserted, and their wells 
Forsaken ; the long line resumed its way 

Once more, and in perpetual pilgrimage 

They passed their lives from infancy to age. 

This sepulchre was all their home ; no force 

Could seize it, no disquietude molest ; 
They filled its vacant vaults till in the course 

Of their succession each contained its guest ; 
And thus in resting from life's fevered toil, 
Each with his dust took seisin of the soil. 

So, too, it seemed each hoary-headed sire, 
When slow-paced Age with its infirmities 

Sounded Death's soft alarum, would retire 
To this lone spot ; the while from his old eyes 

The world was fading, calmly to prepare 

For its approach, in thought fulness and prayer. 



24 THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH. 

Under the shadow of these murmuring trees, 
While vigour fails and outward sight grows dim, 

Each gathers up his thoughts, and by degrees 
Beholds Heaven's portals opening for him, — 

Feels his transfiguration near at hand, 

And treads the borders of the silent land. 

blessed close of lives outworn with toils 
And wanderings ! sacred time of rest ! 

These holy hours when God himself assoils 
The soul about to mingle with the blest : 

Evening of preparation, calm and clear, 

For the eternal Sabbath now so near : 

A tranquil eve that shuts a stormy day, 

When westering clouds are drenched with dews of gold, 
And crimson mists steam upwards, and we say, 

The morrow will serener skies unfold, — 
And all the stainless body of heaven is bare, 
And quivering stars glance through the azure air. 

The Eden of their earth lay all around 

Machpelah ; there God came down in the cool 

Of even to walk with them, and all the ground 
Was therefore holy — therefore beautiful; 

And their free spirits panted for the time 

When they would soar to an unwithering clime. 



THE CAVE OF MACHPELAII. 25 

To them it ceased to be a place of death ; 

It was the porch within whose solemn glooms 
They stood till the temple opened ; the sweet breath 

Of heaven here soothed their hearts; the lovely blooms 
Of that fair land refreshed their drooping eyes ; 
And glimpses came to them from other skies. 

As mariners, long driven through unknown seas 
By stress of tempest, if, when steering on, 

Or ever land appear, the evening breeze 
Blow faint with sandal- wood or cinnamon, 

Look out for the blue haze of spicy isles, 

And trim their sails, and no more grudge their toils ; 

These weary voyagers here drew to shores 
Bathed in eternal sunshine, and the past 

Was all forgotten as the surge that roars 
Beyond the reef ; in this still bay they cast 

Their anchor ; watched the waves glide up the sand, 

And wondered at the beauty of the land. 

Around that cherished sepulchre they died, 
Heirs of a vault, — lords only of a grave; 

And after all is he who looks with pride 
Upon his ample lands, whose forests wave 

On hills unseen from his baronial door, 

The absolute lord and master of much more ? 

C 



26 THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH. 

The lands that may descend from sire to son 

Are not inalienable : Time or Chance, 
Proud lord ! may challenge what thou call'st thine own , 

And wrest from thee the old inheritance; — 
Thou art a tenant at God's will, — thy lease 
May run out long before thine own decease. 

But thou hast a Machpelah ; this is thine, 

And this alone; thou art the absolute 
Possessor of a sepulchre or shrine 

To lay thy bones in, — none will dare dispute 
Thy right to rest there, till the knell of doom 
Shall startle even the silence of the tomb. 

No force shall wrest, no time shall alienate 
This sure possession from thy coming heirs: 

Contract thy mind into this small estate, 

And give thy soul to nobler thoughts and cares ; 

Thus thou shalt plant a garden round the tomb, 

^Yhere golden hopes may flower, and fruits immortal 
bloom. 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 27 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 



i. 

It is a solemn cavalcade, and slow, 

That comes from Egypt ; never had the land, 

Save when a Pharaoh died, such pomp of woe 
Beheld ; never was bier by such a band 
Of princely mourners followed, and the grand 

Gloom of that strange funereal armament 

Saddened the wondering cities as it went. 

ii. 

In Goshen he had died, that region fair 

Which stretches east from Nilus to the wave 

Of the great Gulf; and since lie could not bear 
To lay his ashes in an alien grave, 
He charged his sons to bear them to the cave 

Where rested all his kin, that from life's cares 

And weariness his dust might rest with theirs. 

in. 
So when the best embalmers for the bier 
Had drest him, — in the pungent nitre laid 



28 THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 

The body, and with galbanum, and myrrh, 

And cedar-oil, a costly unguent made, 

And in a spikenard-dripping shroud arrayed 

The limbs ne'er delicately clad till now, — 

The Twelve assembled to fulfil their vow. 

IV. 

For seventy days through Egypt ran the cry 
Of woe, for Joseph wept ; and now there came 

Along with him the rank and chivalry 

Of Pharaoh's court, — the choice of Egypt's fame ;- 
High captains, chief estates, and lords of name, 

The prince, the priest, the warrior, and the sage, 

Made haste to join in that sad pilgrimage. 

v. 

By the green borders of the reedy Nile, 
Where wades the ibis, and the lotus droops, 

The armed horsemen ride in glittering file 

To Goshen, swarthy chieftains with their troops 
Of vassals from the Thebaid, gathering groups 

Of pilgrims from the populous towns, whose vast 

And massy piles loomed o'er them as they passed. 

VI. 

The hoary elders in their robes of state 

Were there, and sceptred judges ; and the sight 
Of their pavilions pitched without the gate 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 29 

Was pleasant ; chariots with their trappings bright 
Stood round, — till all were met, and every rite 
Was paid ; — then at a signal the array 
Moved with a heavy splendour on its way. 

VII. 

Its very gloom was gorgeous, and the so.und 
Of brazen chariots, and the regular feet 

Of stately pacing steeds upon the ground, 

Seemed by its dead and dull monotonous beat 
A burden to that march of sorrow meet ; 

With music Pharaoh's minstrels would have come 

Had Joseph wished, — 'twas better they were dumb. 

VIII. 

In a long line the sable draperies waved 

Far backward from the bier, — and as they go, 

The people of the cities he had saved 

Look from their walls, afflicted witli his woe, 
And watch the pageant as it winds below, — 

And prayers arose for him, and tears were shed, 

And blessings called from Heaven upon his head. 

IX. 

They pass by many a town then famed or feared, 
But quite forgotten now, — and over ground 

Then waste, on which in after time were reared 
Cities whose names were of familiar sound 



30 THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 

For centuries, — Bubastus, and renowned 
Pelusium, whose dust now forms the soil, 
And gorges the lean wilderness with spoil. 

x. 

Now in their eastward march the waste expands 
In front, and faring wearily they reach 

That dread Serbonian lake amidst the sands : 
Oh, many are the bones which yet shall bleach 
Amidst the rushes of that deadly beach, — 

Many the warriors who shall find a grave 

In the false shallows of that perilous wave ! 

XI. 

For many a dreary league the treacherous swamp 
Still lengthens on the left ; the loose-blown sand 

Beneath their steps, the vapours breathing damp 
From the green marsh, annoy the straggling band ; 
But Joseph's thoughts none there may understand,— 

His mind recalls the time when through this wild 

The merchants bore the unresisting child. 

XII. 

The way that then was watered with his tears 
Is wet with them again ; the tender thought 

Of his fond father and his boyish years 

Before his eye the hills of Canaan brought, — 
He saw his childhood's tents, and many a spot 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 31 

Where oft, at eve, a visionary boy, 
He wandered on in innocence and joy. 

XIII. 

Alas ! they were but dreams, — the sense returns 
Of grief, and death, and vacancy ; he still 

Is in the desert, — the fierce sunlight burns 

On the white parching sands, — the hot winds fill 
The hazy tingling air with dust, until 

A drowsy languor creeps through every limb, 

And mocking images at distance swim. 

XIV. 

But when the sun set, and the fall of dew 

Had cooled the air, and the clear vault of heaven 

Darkened into a deep transparent blue 

Fretted with quivering stars, and the still even 
Brought on the sweetest time to mortals riven, 

Their toils were all forgotten, and the hour 

Refreshed their spirits with its gentle power. 

xv. 

Oft would they, in that season hushed and cool, 
March after resting through the sultry day ; 

While on the unmoving trees beside the pool, 

Or bubbling spring, the shadowy moonlight lay, — 
The clear stars guided them upon their way ; 



32 THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 

And, ruddy, in the van, a signal light 

Burned, cresset-like, through all the hours of night. 

XVI. 

The roving sons of Ishmael, as they scour 
The wilderness of Paran with their hordes, 

Behold them from afar, but fear their power ; 

There first against mankind they drew their swords 
In open warfare, and, as native lords 

Of the free desert, couched the Arab spear 

Against the trader and the traveller. 

XVII. 

But unmolested now the mourners pass, 
Till distant trees, like signs of land, appear, 

And pleasantly they feel the yielding grass 
Beneath their feet, and in the morning clear 
They see with joy the hills of Canaan near ; 

The camels scent the freshness of the wells, 

Far hidden in the depth of leafy dells. 

XVIII. 

Delicious to the weary pilgrim's eye, 

Long dazzled by the sun's unclouded glare, 

Was the first glimpse of Canaan and its sky, — 
Sweet every wind that fanned them, — passing fair 
Yale, mount, and champaign ; delicate the air 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 33 

That breathed from leafy brake, and dark brown wood, 
Untroubled in its ancient solitude. 

XIX. 

And now, emerging from the hills which keep 
Their watch about the chosen border, they 

Traverse the plains where oft the patriarch's sheep 
Had pastured ; all around deep silence lay, 
Save when from the walled towns at close of day 

A barbarous music came, and fiendish cries, 

Round the blue flames of Moloch's sacrifice. 

xx. 
At length they reach a lonely mansion, where, 

Within a spacious courtyard, and the sweep 
Of wide and airy granaries, they prepare 

The solemn closing obsequies to keep ; 

For an appointed time they rest, and weep 
With ceaseless lamentation, and the land 
Rings with a grief it cannot understand.* 

XXI. 

Tradition long kept memory of the place 

Where the Egyptians met, and told how great 

* "And they came to the thrashing-floor of Atad, which is be- 
yond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore 
lamentation : and he made a mourning for his father seven days." 
—Gen. l. 10. 



34 THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 

Had been the weeping, — how the ample space 

Was crowded with the mourners, — how their state 
Showed there were princes there, — how round the 
gate 
The ranked chariots stood, and horses neighed, 
And swarthy warriors loitered in the shade. 

XXII. 

The rites thus duly paid, they onward went 
Across the eastern hills, and rested not 

Till, slowly winding up the last ascent, 

They see the walls of Hebron, and the spot 
To him they bore, so dear and unforgot, 

Where the dark cypress and the sycamore 

Weave their deep shadows round the rock-hewn door. 

XXIII. 

Now Jacob rests where all his kindred are, — 
The exile from the land in which of old 

His fathers lived and died, he comes from far 
To mix his ashes with their sacred mould. 
There where he stood with Esau, in the cold 

Dim passage of the vault, with holy trust 

His sons lay down the venerable dust. 

XXIV. 

They laid him close by Leah, where she sleeps 
Far from her Syrian home, and never knows 



THE BURIAL OF JACOB. 35 

That Reuben kneels beside her feet and weeps, 
Nor glance of kindly recognition throws 
Upon her stately sons from that repose ; 
His Rachel rests far-sundered from his side, 
Upon the way to Bethlehem, where she died. 

xxv. 

Sleep on, weary saint ! thy bed is bless'd, 

Thou,* with the pilgrim-staff of faith, hast passed 

Another Jordan into endless rest : 

Well may they sleep who can serenely cast 
A look behind, while darkness closes fast 

Upon their path, and breathe thy parting word, 

" For Thy salvation I have waited, Lord ! " 

XXVI. 

Long years will pass away, ere once again 
Thy silence, Machpelah ! shall be stirred ; 

The boughs will spread unpruned, and mosses stain 
The ancient stones where sings the lonesome bird ; 
And then as saintly dust will be interred 

Within thy vaults once more, and rites be paid 

As solemn underneath thy hoary shade. 

* " With my staff I passed over this Jordan."— Gen. xxxii. 10. 

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 
will fear no evil : for Thou art with me ; Thy rod and Thy staff they 
comfort me."— Ps. xxm. 4. 



36 ICHABOD. 



ICHABOD. 



" She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed."- 
1 Sam. iv. 21. 

Most hapless child ! to thee the gate of life 

Death has unbarred. — strange keeper of the door ! 

And thine eyes open on this scene of strife, 
As thy faint mother's close for evermore. 

What is thy world but one vast sable room, 

With shields sepulchral hanging round its gloom ? 

Thy mother meek had sorrow in thy birth, 
Which never vanished in redeeming joy ; 

Thy natal hour awoke no festal mirth, 

And heard no joyous greetings, wretched boy ! 

Thy father lay upon his bloody bier, 

And how could she who loved him linger here ? 

What time thou earnest hither, didst thou not, 
Upon the border of that dolorous bourne, 

Meet them, and him thy grandsire ? Had their lot 
Been thine, thou surely hadst been less forlorn. 

Didst thou not see them walking, hand in hand, 

Nigh the dim portals of that shadowy land ? 



ICHABOD. 37 

Upon thy natal day they all went thither; 

Thy father was the first, all bathed in blood ; 
Thy grandsire next ; and she, the last, did wither 

In the pure bloom of perfect womanhood, — 
That gentle lady, who had mourned their sin, 
Crushed in the storm which burst upon her kin, 

The Priest, the Warrior, and the Wife depart, 
And thou hast come upon the funeral eve ; 

But will thy coming cheer the drooping heart 
Of Israel ? thy poor mite of life relieve 

This heavy sum of slaughter, and atone 

For beauty and for bravery that are gone ? 

She whispered, clinging to the perilous edge 
Of life, a name wherein all omens mingle, 

And types of blackest doom, — a fearful pledge 
That God had made all ears to creep and tingle 

At the dread judgments that had fallen on guilt, 

For which no victim's life-blood might be spilt. 

Thy name has passed into a proverb ; thou 
Hast pointed many morals ; when we see 

Honours departing, mounting hopes laid low, 
And glory tarnished, we remember thee : 

We hear it like an echo in the aisles 

Of antique temples and imperial piles. 



38 ICHABOD. 

On Grecian friezes strewn through laurel shades, 
On bronze corroded by Oblivion's rust, 

On proud Palmyra's tottering colonnades, 
On ruins raked and sifted into dust, 

On the dim vestiges of Babylon's walls, 

And old Assyria's marble-panelled halls, — 

Time's iron pen carves Iehabod ! — a name 

That seems the eternal language of our sighs, 

The spirit of all homilies on fame, 
The sum of immemorial elegies ; 

The sole immortal legend that remains 

To mark the site of palaces and fanes. 

Thy memory shall never fade, because 

'Tis bound up with decay, and has the range 

Of an unending fate. While the deep laws 

Of being shall unfold themselves through Change, 

And old things fade and moulder, thou shalt be 

Too sure of mournful immortality ! 

It may be well that we so little know 
Of thy succeeding life, mysterious child ! 

Thy features muffled with a veil of woe, 

Thou art the spirit of sorrow deep and wild, 

And all thy story may be thus comprised, — 

Most strangely born, most mournfully baptized. 



ICIIABOD. 39 

May the dark riddle of thy life be read 
In this thy baptism of tears and blood ? 

Was thine a blighted beinsr ? Did men dread 
The quick infection of thy neighbourhood ? 

Or, as might chance, did days of thoughtless mirth 

Defy the dismal auguries of thy birth ? 

Or didst thou, in unconscious sympathy, 
Die with thy kindred on thy natal night ? 

And born and named so sadly, didst thou sigh 
Thy breath away, or sicken at the light, 

And only leave the darkness of one womb, 

To creep into another, — the dark tomb ? 

I well believe this was thy happier fate, 
And that the dewy eyes of the next morn 

Saw a sad pomp emerging from the gate 

Of Shiloh : on one bier three bodies borne, — 

The grandsire, and the mother, and the child ; 

All blighted, — stem, and branch, and blossom undeflled. 



40 THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 



THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 



" Again, the devil taketh hira up into an exceeding high mountain, 
and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory 
of them."— St Matthew iv. 8. 

Alone, beneath the vaulted sky, 

And side by side they stood, 
Where rose a mountain-peak in high 

And awful solitude, — 
One with his cold bright eye of guile, 
And on his lips a hollow smile, 

An aching heart within ; 
The other, mild, serene, and grave, 
With the sad look that sorrow gave 
. To Him that knew not sin. 

Strange that upon one common spot 

Their feet should once have trod, 
And Time have there together brought 

Man's tempter and his God ; 
And strange the mighty ends to tell 
That stirred so deeply Heaven and Hell 



THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 41 

Thus face to face opposed, — 
The stake was man's immortal life, 
And this the prelude to the strife 

On Calvary that closed. 



They gazed in silence on the scene 

Outspreading far below, — 
Hill, purple grove, and valley green, 

All bathed in sunlight's glow ; 
Luxuriant plains and lonely cots 
Sprinkled among the pleasant spots, 

Where blue- veined rivers ran ; 
And, smoke from cities far apart, 
High-piled with wealth, enriched by art 

And noblest works of man. 



He gazed, who o'er earth's face had cast 

Even there a look of gloom, 
Whose withering shadow, as it passed, 

Reft Eden of its bloom. 
But for the ruin he had wrought, 
No pity moved a gentler thought 

Within that spirit dark ; 
And with a deadlier hate he longs 
The great Redresser of its wrongs 

To strike, — a prouder mark ! 

D 



42 THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 

He raised his hand, and through the air 

A wildering vapour breathed, 
And fast arose a vision fair 

By false enchantment wreathed, — 
Kich masques,, and radiant phantoms, blent 
Within a luminous element, 

A shifting splendour cast, 
Till, from its heaped and mingling spoils, 
Unwinding all its glittering coils, 

Slow moved the pageant past. 



There all earth's lands and kingdoms seem 

Assembled as in strife, 
To cast a soft and witching gleam 

Around the pride of life ; 
All that could tempt the sensual eye 
Of wealth, and pomp, and luxury, 

Was bright-reflected there ; 
All guerdons which, on Honour's height, 
May tempt Ambition's loftiest flight, 

Tricked out the shining snare. 



There laurels veiled the blood that stained 

The trophied pride of war, 
And haughty Rome dragged princes chained 

To her imperial car. 



THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 43 

And all their rifled treasuries 

With sumless wealth and merchandise 

Came brightening in her train: 
Barbaric pearl and diamond shone 
From lands far east of Babylon, 

And spicy Taprobane. 

Fair Greece unlocked her finer stores 

Of all immortal arts, 
Slow camel-files from Syria bore 

The spoil that chokes her marts; 
And Araby was there with spice, 
Silk, purple, many a rare device 

Wrought in the towns of Ind; 
And gums from islands flushed with blooms, 
And groves of balm whose far-blown fumes 

Enrich the evening wind. 

There warriors marched in gleaming arms 

Where Fame's loud trumpet blared, 
And, lured by Glory's tempting charms, 

All bloody perils dared, 
There banners waved to victory's shout, 
And softer instruments spoke out, 

And passioned minstrels sung, 
While princes held high festival, 
And on their guests the lighted hall 

Its gorgeous splendour flung. 



44 THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 

He showed Him in a jewelled wreath 

All crowns that earth bestows, 
But not the rankling thorns beneath 

That pierce the wearer's brows. 
He showed Him every specious prize 
That sparkles in Ambition's eyes, 

But not the pale-eyed Care 
That in the height of honour dwells, 
And whispers mournful oracles 

Behind the curule chair. 

But who may trace each saddening thought 

That swelled the Saviour's heart, 
While gazing on the pageant wrought 

By that false spirit's art ? 
He, through its rich and tissued folds, 
The dark reality beholds, — 

The violence and guilt 
Through which these stately empires grew, 
And all the groans their glory drew, 

And all the blood it spilt. 

He turned his eye from royal state 

Beneath high-arching domes, 
And saw the poor and desolate 

Within a thousand homes ; 
The outcast wandering for his bread, 
Who had not where to lay his head, 



THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 45 

Until he found the grave ; 
For them his tears of pity ran, 
And all who were despised by man 

His spirit yearned to save. 



He turned him from the empty glare 

That crowned Oppression wore, 
And saw the broken hearts of care 

Its heavy load that bore. 
He heard the withering captive's moan, 
The poor defrauded labourer's groan, 

Whose wrongs no law T redressed ; 
Their sorrows on his heart were borne, 
To all the weary and forlorn 

He came to offer rest. 



He looked, and, lo ! Sin's blighting shade 

Crept o'er the airy show, 
And from it fast the flush decayed 

Like evening's rosy glow; 
The enchanter's wand in fragments fell, . 
Dissolved, like mist, the subtle spell, 

The loaded air was cleared ; 
And, through the blank against the sky, 
Distinct and dark, low Calvary 

His naked cross upreared. 



46 THE VISION FROM THE MOUNT. 

" And shall the crowns of earth," he cried, 

" False fiend ! have charms for me, 
"Wlio laid the crown of heaven aside 

Thy fettered slaves to free ? 
Away with all thy glittering dross, — 
My eye is full upon the cross, 

And speeds the fateful hour 
When I, the woman's seed, shall tread 
In death on thy discrowned head, 

And crush thy hated power. 



" Away ! thy evil star is dim, 

Look up and see the sign, — 
My knee bends never but to Him 

"Who is my God and thine ! 
Away ! and triumph for a time, 
But I will track thee by thy slime, 

Foul serpent ! and expel 
All evil from this groaning world, 
And, as before, behold thee hurled 

Down to the pit of hell!" 



THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 



THE MIBACLES OF THE SAYIOUE. 



Though Thou didst come into our world by night, 
And with no glory wrap Thyself about, 

Yet soon around Thy goings what a light 
Of beauty and of majesty broke out ! 

Beneath the meekness of Thy mortal guise, 
His God Incarnate man disdained to own, 

Though through the earthly veil before his eyes 
Some beams of the Indwelling Brightness shone. 

Yet Nature owned Thee, in the listening pause, 
The awe, and sacred stillness of the land ; 

She knew the step of God ; her iron laws 
Relaxed their ancient rigour in Thy hand. 

She saw, within Thy body's temple shrined, 
Uhsceptred Majesty for her to greet; 

Thy voice went through her elements like wind ; 
And all her realms poured tribute at Thy feet. 



48 THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 

All spirits, too, here working good or ill, 
Felt in Earth's air the pulse of holy breath, 

Thine every footfall an electric thrill 

Sent both to Heaven above and Hell beneath. 

From Thy uplifted arm, and in the sound 

Of Thy mild voice, went forth a power divine ; 

Its wonders stud the Gospel-page, and round 
The horizon of Thy life like stars they shine. 



The festal wine is spent, but Thou art near, 
At Thy command the spring of gladness rose ; 

A purple shadow tints the water clear, 
And every lustral vessel overflows. 

Through summer suns and soft-distilling rains, 
The juices crimson in the swelling grape; 

But to the end which Nature slowly gains 
The Lord of Nature passes at a step. 

Charmed by mere contact with Thy naked feet, 

The unstable waves, though heaved by tempest, stand 

Congealed into a marble pavement, meet 
For Him who holds them in His hollowed hand. 



THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 49 

Awed by Thine eye the stormy winds are still, 
The sea smoothes all its surges at Thy frown ; 

And, where Thy finger points, the fishes fill 
The nets which all the night hung idly down. 

Thou, King of Heaven, wilt honour earthly kings, 
And Cscsar's dues at Caesar's customs pay ; 

A fish to Peter's hook the stater brings, 

Where rusting, deep among the ooze, it lay. 

When crowds went with Thee to a desert place, 

Thou wouldst not send them faint to towns remote, 

But from a stripling's scanty scrip, Thy grace 
For all a plentiful provision brought. 

Thy blessing into his small loaves did pass, 
Thy meek dividing hands held store of bread ; 

The Twelve went to and fro upon the grass, 
Till all the ranked multitudes were fed. 

The wayside fig, so falsely clothed with leaves, 
Yields to Thy simple appetite no fruit, — 

The worthless tree Thy brief rebuke receives, 
And presently it withers from the root. 

How many are the ills that fret and waste, 
Since Sin first blighted it, this frame of man ! 

These owned Thy presence too, — where'er it passed, 
The streams of healing influence freelv ran. 



50 THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 

Health, vigour, life, and joy sprung up beneath 
Thy steps ; Thy very shadow blessed the ground ; 

The tainted air waxed pure within Thy breath ; 
And from Thy garments virtue wandered round. 

The long-stopped ear flew open at Thy touch ; 

The palsied arm was nerved with vigour fresh ; 
The life-lame cripple cast aside his crutch ; 

And childhood's glow flushed warm in leprous flesh. 

The common clay was then as euphrasy, 

Which purged the eye in light's awakening thrill ; 

And fettered tongues, to thought vibrating free, 
Would not be silent when Thou saidst, Be still ! 

Heaven had its eye upon Thee from afar : 
It watched the course it joyed to see begun ; 

Thy birth was greeted by a lighted star, 
Thy death lamented by a darkened sun. 

No boding planet veiled it from the sight, 
The Paschal moon was broad upon the sky, 

When thou, O sun ! didst drape thy sacred light 
In sympathy with His expiring cry ! 



THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 51 



II. 

Through that so fatal breach which Sin had made 
In this our citadel, Death entered too, 

His gloomy banner on its wall displayed, 

And with a tyrannous frenzy smote and slew. 

The strong man, armed securely, kept his hold, 
And feared no rival in his bloody reign ; 

But Thou, a mightier than the Anarch old, 
Didst spoil and crush him in his own domain. 

Thrice, ere Thine own death undermined his sway* 
Thou didst confront him in his lawless range ; 

Thrice from his stiffening grasp redeem the prey, 
And give him warning of the coming change. 

The maiden from her couch, the youth of Xain 
From out his shroud, and Lazarus from his cave, 

Rose at Thy summoning call to life again, 

And Death could trust no more the faithless grave. 

Thrice didst Thou strike, and every time enforce 
With greater emphasis the sounding blow, 

Till even corruption felt the livid corse 

Throb from it in life's warm returning glow. 



52 THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 

The Arch-Apostate, with a true presage, 

Had garrisoned his earth with troops of hell, 

But bootless was the war he thought to wage, 
Where'er the shadow of Thy presence fell. 

The first man, under Eden's sheltering trees, 
He could seduce and ruin with a lie, — 

He met Thee fainting in the wilderness, 

And quailed before the glancing of Thine eye. 

Even where his masterdom securest seemed, 
He howling left the bodies he possessed ; 

And in the synagogues where men blasphemed, 
The devils raged and trembled, but confessed. 

Thy lifted finger struck the fiends with dread, — 
With keener pangs that unconsuming ire, 

Which kindled hell before them as they fled, 

On earth now scathed them with its searching fire. 

Thy noblest gift, alas ! was seldom sought 

By men so sensitive to outward ill, — 
The miracle Thy saving mercy wrought 

In the deep sphere of spirit and of will. 

That mercy healed the deepest wound of life, 

It cleansed and sweetened Nature's bitter springs, 

Fulfilled its want, and reconciled its strife, 

And raised its eye to Heaven and heavenly things. 



THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 53 

The power that purified the heart from sin, 
That weeded out the thistles of the fall, 

And made all holy virtues bloom therein, — 
This was the greatest miracle of all. 

This blessed the poor Samarian by the well, — 

Unsealed the twin founts of the Magdalene's eyes, — 

Upon the late-repenting felon fell, 

And caught him quickly up to paradise. 

For Thou all works of Satan wouldst destroy, — 
For this Thy power made all its bright displays ; 

For this thou went'st in glory, not in joy, 
A Man of Sorrows, on our earthly ways. 

And all the outward wonders of Thy grace 
Were types of this great mystery within, — 

Shadowed the full redemption of our race 
From all the deadly branching woes of sin. 

Once hadst Thou seen the proud Archangel fall 
Like lightning from the heaven in which he shone; 

Now Thou didst drive him from mans spirit, all 
The heaven in which remains to him a throne. 

Yet while amazed that wondrous power I see, 
Which for all other woes unwearied wrought, 

More wondrous seems the deep humility 

Which for its own distress took never thought. 



54 THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 

Beneath the shadow of Sin's gilded domes, 

Thou hadst not where, Christ ! to lay Thy head ; 

Thou sentest thousands joyful to their homes, 
From deserts where their Saviour wanted bread. 

Thou couldst have brought provision from the flints, 
But wast content our hunger to endure ; 

And all the sumless wealth of royal mints 

Was Thine, — but Thou for sinners' sakes wert poor. 

The rich in purple robe Thy temple trod ; 

But Thou the poor man's garb didst meekly wear, 
And daily live by trusting to the God 

Who feeds the wandering sparrows of the air. 

Thou once wert robed in purple, but in jest ; 

Once tasted Pilate's wine, but mixed with myrrh ; 
It was Thy corpse that was with linen dressed, 

Thy grave in which the costly spices were. 

Thy false apostle made his covenant good, 
And to the garden led the motley rout, 

While wondering troops of angels round Thee stood, 
To see Thee let him act his treachery out. 

And Thou, Lamb of God ! wert dragged to death, 
And, sinless, didst our mortal pains abide, 

And kept immortal strength within its sheath, 

While He who owned it groaned, and bled, and died. 



THE MIRACLES OF THE SAVIOUR. 00 

Oh, crowning miracle of matchless grace. 
To man unknown, though acted every hour, 

That drew the veil across the Godhead's face, 

And clenched the hand upon the Godhead's power ! 



Though now, O Christ ! we see these signs no more,- 
Xo more on earth Thy mortal vision given, — 

I do rejoice that what thou didst before, 

Thou still canst do in human hearts from heaven. 

O work in me the mystery of Thy grace, 
Constrain my spirit by the might of love ! 

And here let me, though dimly, see Thy face, 
The open vision of Thy saints above ! 



56 PRESENTIMENT. 



PEESENTIMENT. 



Hast thou not felt when journeying to the place 
Whence some fair sudden prospect greets the eye, 
And where the mind, with all its hopes flushed high, 

Seeks pleasant entertainment for a space, 

A strange desire to mend thy lagging pace, 

Which still grew stronger as it came more nigh, 
Till it could fret at the necessity 

Which bound it in the senses' strict embrace ? 

Such is the inward yearning of the soul 
Towards the vision of the Infinite, 

When life's long, close-drawn mists at last unroll ; 

This to itself makes after-being clear, 

It nears the summit of Time's specular height, 

And woos the free airs of an ampler sphere. 



PROVIDENCE. O 7 



PEOVIDEXCE. 



" When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me, until I 
went into the sanctuary of God." — Ps. LXXIII. 16, 17. 

How many are the mysteries that lie 

Along life's winding ways, and vex the mind 
With restless speculation, vague and blind ! 

We have but glimpses of the azure sky, — 

The calm, the luminous Infinity, — 

Which doth encompass all ; as when the wind 
Fitfully lifts the mist, and shows behind 

Heaven's sapphire clearness to the watcher's eye. 
But where we may not trace, Prayer shall make plain 
The way to trust, and we shall even obtain 

For many a mystery solution meet, 

Once we have learned meekly to repair 
Within the sanctuary of God, and wear 

The marble pavement with our visiting feet. 



58 THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PKOCULA* THE 
WIFE OF PILATE. 



" When he was set down on the judgment-seat, his wife sent unto 
him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man : for 
I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of 
him."— St Matthew xxyti. 19. 

PROEM. 

" Leave me a while, my child ! Ever since morn 
I have felt my spirit burdened, and the dread 
Of some impending evil haunts my mind, — 
A dim and shapeless terror. Thy sweet laugh, 
My child ! sounds as a discord, and thy voice 
Fatigues the ear of thy distempered mother. 
Go ! pluck some roses for a festal wreath, 
And twine them as I taught thee, for to-night 

* This name is employed on the authority of some early ecclesi- 
astical writers ; Scripture, it is needless to observe, being silent on 
the subject. Whether correctly applied or not is of little conse- 
quence ; but we feel pleasure in drawing one of whom so little is 
known within the sphere of a personal interest, even by so slender 
a link as this. 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 59 

Thy father sups with Herod. They are friends 
Again, — one boon we owe this Galilean. 
When thou art gone, perchance an hour of sleep 
May lighten me of these uneasy thoughts V 

So the fair child into the garden went 
With gentle footstep, and the mother slept. 

THE DREAM. 

Sleep ! what sorcery is like to thine, 
So subtle, so resistless ? In what grove 
Or garden dost thou gather the rare herbs 
Whose juices have such virtue, that the soul, 
Once tasting them, is on the instant loosed 
From its companionship with flesh, to range 
Through the w r ide universe, and every zone 
To traverse, swift as the electric fire? 

Silent the city lay in all its streets, 
Drowsed in the glow of noon. The sultry air 
Was overcharged with languor; the weak wind 
Was stifled in the open, shadowless ways. 
Faintly she hears the soft and liquid flow 
Of the small runnels freshening the roots 
Of thick-leaved platans in the garden-walks, 
And the cool plashing fountain in the court, 
And as she listens, she is calmly lulled 
Into a deep repose. An interval, — 



GO THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 

How long she knows not, — but, as in old times, 

And with no sense of change, she seems to be 

Within her Eoman mansion, on the slope 

Of the low Esquiline, whence roams the eye 

Over the smiling champaign, where the links 

Of Tiber gleam like steel, to the white walls 

Of cool Praeneste, and the Alban hills, 

And the blue ridge of piny Algidus. 

Again through well-known chambers, draped and dim, 

She passes, — vestibules, where statues watch 

In breathless immortality, — wide halls, 

Where cedarn roofs are rough with stalactites 

Of fretted gold, and tessellated floors 

Mirror the floating movement of her robe ; — 

Yet on this splendour now she seems to cast 

A careless eye. She feels upon her heart 

A crushing weight of sadness. Agony 

Is working in the quiver of her lip. 

An unimagined misery, a dread 

Presentiment of evil, wraps her soul 

In gloom, and chills the hidden springs of life. 

So vacantly she thought she wandered on, 
With all her anguish in a tearless eye, 
Till to a little chamber she has come ; 
One step within it, and she stands as struck 
To marble. There upon a couch, she thought, 
Lay a sweet child, as if through weariness 
O'ercome by balmy slumber. But 'twas sleep 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 01 

Without a smile or sigh, — and as she lay, 

A heavy silence throbbed within the air, 

And made a swoonlike tingling in the brain, 

More deep, more terrible, than that of sleep. 

Fair seemed the little maiden resting there, — 

Her dark eyelashes drooping down a cheek 

Still lovely though unbloomiug, and her pale 

Seraphic beauty showed the small blue veins 

Upon her delicate brow. One raven tress 

Had fallen loose, escaping from the fillet, 

"Whose pearls were duskier than the brow they bound. 

Beside the couch the lady thought there lay 
A withering rose-wreath, as if newly dropped 
From a relaxing grasp. And in her dream 
She lifted it, and with a listless eye 
Gazed on the flowers those fingers small had woven. 
One rose was but a bud, — it had been plucked 
Too soon, — and now the red lips of its leaves 
Were shrunk and seared. "And faded art thou too," 
She thought, " my blossom, in thy opening hour, — 
Struck is the gracious promise of thy spring 
By sudden blight, — thy rifled sweetness here 
Lies low, nor can the sunshine nor the rain 
Revive it evermore!" 

In passionate grief 
She seemed to sink upon her knees, and look 
On those pale tranquil features, till she felt 
As if she envied their profound repose. 



62 THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 



A change came over her in this deep trance 
Of agony, — a vague returning dread, 
"Which made her spirit shrink within itself, 
That she was not alone. Then timidly, 
She thought, she raised her eyelids, and, behold, 
Before her, standing by the farther side 
Of the small couch, was One whose eye was fixed 
Upon her steadfastly. It was a mild 
And gentle look, that thrilled her heart, and seemed 
"Withal to soothe its pain, and in His eye 
A serene radiance shone, a tempered gleam, — 
The mingling lights of Parity and Love. 
Sorrow in his calm aspect seemed to veil 
And chasten majesty; the settled grief 
Of some intense endurance, meekly borne 
In the uplifted solitudes of thought, — 
No surging perturbation of the soul. 
As thus he looked on her, seeming to read 
The secret anguish that consumed her heart, 
The thought, she knew not how, grew slowly up, 
And strengthened in her, till her pulses throbbed 
With manifold emotion, that, beneath 
These simple robes, One stood, veiling in flesh 
His immortality, — some Son of Heaven, 
Whose goodness was the spirit of His power. 
Wherefore, it seemed to her, with all her heart 
Tremblingly balanced on one doubtful hope, 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 03 

Dreading a chance, so precious yet so frail, 

To hazard on the cast of speech, she, still 

Low kneeling, thus addressed Him, " On this couch 

She lies who was my child, — now she has died, 

And left me desolate ; — ! canst Thou help me ? " 

" The damsel is not dead/' He calmly said, 

" But sleepeth." — O'er her features passed a smile 

More like despair than sorrow. — " Then believe ! " 

He cried, " and doubt no more." Gently he took 

The maiden's hand in His, and in a low, 

Clear voice, He said, "Arise !" Even as He spake 

A change came over her, — the small pulse began 

To beat in her thin wrist, — the flush of life 

Passed swiftly o'er her cheek, a mantling bloom, 

Like the warm rosy light which sunset casts 

On mountain- snow, — a slumberous movement broke 

The iron spell of Death, — her reddening lips 

Breathed a faint sigh, — and opening her eyes, 

With the enquiring wonder of a long 

And ended dream, she named her mother's name, 

And smiled to see her there. But marble-pale, 

As in a swoon of joy, the mother now 

Had sunk upon the ground, and clasped the feet 

Of the Deliverer. " Tell me but Thy name," 

She cried, " that I may load it evermore 

With honours, and heap up with sacrifice 

The altars of thy Godhead ? " " Thou hast heard 

Of me," he said; " I am the Galilean ; 



64 THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 

I seek no sacrifice but one. Lay thou 

Thy heart upon mine altar, and adore 

Thy false ancestral gods, who cannot save, 

No more ! " There was a silence in the room, — 

She rose, but He had vanished as a star 

Before the dewy glances of the dawn ! 

O Sleep ! what sorcery is like to thine, — 
So bland, yet so prevailing ? By what art 
Canst thou the shadow on Life's dial move 
Even as thou listest ? Oft I think of thee 
As seated in some lone and glimmering cave, 
With pentagram and sigil on its walls, 
Where to the drowsy, never-ceasing hum 
Of thy revolving spindle, thou wilt draw 
A moment's slender thread out endlessly 
Into a dread eternity of thought. 
There at the waving of thy charmed wand 
Time shuts and opens, narrows and expands, 
As with the brazen joints and cylinders 
Of the Etruscan tube. Like shreds of foam 
On the deep current of a rapid stream, 
The generations pass without a sound ; 
We live down hoary centuries, and awake 
To find we have not slept one little hour. 

That Image vanished, but the dream went on : 
From the disordered elements of thought, 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 05 

As after a long interval and blank 
Of memory, the vision shaped itself 
Asniin. The mingling shadows and the forms 
That wavered in the ripples of the wind 
Settled by slow degrees as it grew calm, 
And were transfigured by the spirit of life. 

It seemed that after months had glided past, 
A day marked golden in the calendar 
Came round, when all Rome's noblest matrons went 
To the temple of Diana, with the pomp 
Of sacrifice, to laud the Latmian queen. 
And she was there ; her presence graced the rite, 
"When with a stately pace, through the broad streets, 
Went the religious multitude ; and ne'er, 
She thought, had Dian's festival been kept 
With equal honours, and a prouder band 
Of worshippers. Conspicuous in the van, 
It seemed to her, she walked, chosen to lead 
The rite by acclamation of her peers. 
In that patrician throng the foremost place 
Had fallen to her, but with an aching heart 
She the dread symbols to the altar bore. 
No pride was sparkling in her eye, no joy 
Of gratified ambition flushed her brow ; 
Her cheek was pale and sorrow-worn, her eye 
"Was overcast with thought, and even the smile 
Of the fair child beside her, whose sweet face 



66 THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 

Was lighted up with gladness, failed to win 
One sympathetic glance from her she loved. 

Sadly she watched the victim's trickling blood 

Crimson the flamen's knife ; sadly she joined 

In the melodious chanting of the hymn. 

The rite now ended, her companions left 

The temple ; but some impulse, so she thought, 

Urged her to linger. Through long corridors, 

Which echoed to her footfall, wearing still 

Her robes of ministration, she passed on, — 

Her daughter by her side. Through secret rooms 

She wandered, in a vacancy of thought, — 

Through crypt and pillared portico, and all 

The ample shadowy range of twilight-courts, 

Until she seemed to stand once more in front 

Of Dian's altar. All the priests were gone, — 

Silent the sanctuary lay, which late 

Bung with the noise of tuneful instruments 

And manifold voices blent. She sate her down 

Hard by the altar ; but her bosom still 

Heaved with the tumult of her thoughts, — her eyes 

Were dimmed with tears, — and these few moments 

seemed 
To crush her spirit with an infinite woe, 
Till sudden the long-pent emotion found 
An utterance ; and, trembling at her words, 
She cried, " Oh, Galilean ! if indeed 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. G7 

Thou art, and Thou alone, to be adored, 

Appear, and dissipate my lingering doubts ! " 

She spake, and, e'er the hollow echo died 

In the still temple, she was conscious He 

Before her stood once more. Alas ! how changed, 

How wasted now ! and with what evident trace 

Of suffering in his frame. Sorrow, indeed, 

Had all but quenched her fears through the sole sense 

Of sympathy. Those calm and Godlike brows 

Were keenly pierced and torn by cruel spikes, 

Driven deep into the flesh, — stiffened with blood 

The tangles of His hair, — down His pale cheek 

The large drops trickled slowly, — and a robe 

Of faded purple loosely wrapped His form ; 

His visage was now wrinkled o'er by care, 

The anguish of a self-included soul, 

There writing its stern secret. Yet, withal, 

His features wore that sweet embodied charm 

Of grace immortal that had made them look 

More beautiful than man's. His eye still gleamed 

With love that triumphed over all its wrongs, 

And pity that o'ermastered by its strength 

All energy of evil, — a benign 

And spiritual light, wherein no fire 

Of earthly passion mingled. With a look 

Of sadness, thrilling deeper than reproach, 

The lady thought He fixed on her His eye, 

Thus speaking : " Thou hast called, and I have come ! 



68 THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 

Thou lookest on these wounds, — regard them well : 
Thy husband's hands have caused them. Even now 
He hastens to the judgment-seat, to judge 
And to condemn me, — Me, his Grod and thine ! " 

And, on the instant, as white clouds ascend 
At evening from a mountain top, the mists 
Were lifted from her brain. The eventful dream 
Was ended, and all trembling, but convinced, 
The dreamer woke. 

She woke, and, with surprise, 
Looked round the chamber, while her happy child 
Ran to her with a rose-wreath, and exclaimed, 
" Mother ! the chaplet ! and my father says 
This very night he'll wear it, when he sups 
With Herod." Her words faltered, for a shout 
Came from the court below, and, following fast, 
Another and a louder. " my child ! " 
The mother cried, " what mean these angry sounds ? " 
" My father said to me but now," the maid 
Replied, " when I was showing him my wreath, 
That he was hastening to the judgment-seat ; 
For a strange prisoner, of whom I have heard 
Thee and my father speak, — the Galilean, — 
Was this day to be judged. This must be He ; 
Let us look forth, and we may see Him while 
He passes through the court." The child ran out, 
Through the half-open casement, to a wide 
And lofty balcony. With thoughts and fears 



THE DREAM OF CLAUDIA PROCULA. 09 

Unutterable rising in her mind, 

The mother followed her, and placed herself 

Where all was visible that passed below. 

She glanced down timidly, and, in the midst 

Of a fierce thronging crowd, who screamed and yelled 

As if athirst for blood, she saw One come 

With feeble staggering step. Rude arms were raised 

In violent menace round, — reproach and scorn 

Assailed Him from a thousand furious tongues, — 

But His lips moved not. As she looked, there stepped 

A soldier forth and smote Him in the face, — 

The Sufferer fell, and all the rabble jeered. 

They dragged Him as He lay along the ground, — 

His hands were bound with thongs, His thick, damp 

hair 
Was clotted all with blood, — and, as He rose 
And crept with pain, one cried, " How will He bear 
The cross ? " and all the rabble jeered again. 

At length, beneath the balcony whereon 
She stood, the Sufferer came. He paused 
A moment, and looked up. His eye met hers, — 
Piercing and pure, — and its calm glance revealed 
His knowledge of her woe. It thrilled her heart 
With the quick sense that He had been with her 
Unseen, — come silently unto her side 
In that dim land of shadows, and controlled 
The wild and subtle movement of her dream. 



70 THE VINE OF NOAH. 



THE YIXE OF NOAH. 

A HEBREW LEGEND. 



When the old patriarch, whom the flood had spared. 

Began round Ararat to till the plain, 
He planted, on a sunward slope prepared, 

The grape, — the apple of his future bane. 

At evening walking forth, surprised he saw 
An altar built beneath the leafy vine ; 

A sudden impulse bade him nearer draw, 
And he beheld a dark portentous sign. 

A towering Form stood by the mystic fire, 

Robed as a Priest in act to sacrifice ; 
And while he watched the breathing flame aspire, 

A gloomy gladness sparkled in his eyes. 

Then first a lamb which bleated at his side 
He slew, — next spilt a shaggy lion's blood ; 

A mountain ape, strange victim ! also died, 
And last a brindled wild-boar of the wood. 



THE VINE OF NO ATI. 71 

Their bodies on the altar-fire he throws, — 

The streams of blood commingling seethed and hissed 

Up through the vine a deadly smoke arose, 

And wrapped its branches and its leaves in mist. 

The patriarch watched the impious rite with dread, 
Like some wild bloody dream it tranced his eyes, 

Till turning round, the Priest of Evil said, 
" Xow learn why I have offered sacrifice! 

" I am the Prince of all the world, — and thee 
I thank, Xoah, that when forced to quit 

My realm a while, thou, by my sacred tree, 
Hast given me speedy welcome back to it. 

" For well may I do honour to the Vine, — 
Through it the earth surrendered to my will 

Once more I augur, and display the sign 
Of its effect, which Time shall soon fulfil. 

" He who its generous juice shall taste may be 

As gentle as a creature of the fold, — 
Let him drink on, and, like the lion, he 

Shall wax defiant, fierce, and uncontrolled. 

" Still let him drink, — the braggart soon will grow 
An empty, noisy chatterer like the ape, — 

At last, in all uncleanness grovelling low, 
The vilest of the brutes in human shape!" 



72 THE VINE OF NOAH. 

Still in the vine-leaves hung the vapours grey, 
When Priest, and Fire, and Altar vanished all, 

Nor dreamt the patriarch, on his homeward way, 
It was the shadow of his future fall ! 



THE TEMPLE OF SAIS. 73 



THE TEMPLE OF SAIS. 



" Certainly this kind of learning deserves the highest form amongst 
the difficiles nugae; and all these hieroglyphics put together 
will make but one good one, and should be for — labour lost." 
— Stillingfleet. 

In Egypt's golden time, a temple stood 

In Sais, by the branches of the Nile, 
"Where sages many a mystic art pursued, 

And priests of Neith* filled her chosen pile. 

Thither went pilgrims out of all the land, — 

Grey-bearded age came linked with blooming youth ; 

And o'er the porch some priestly artist's hand 
Had traced, in symbols, much of occult truth. 

First was the figure of an Aged Man, 

Who dragged with pain his languid footsteps slow, — 
And by his side a bright-haired Stripling ran, 

Hope in his eye, and courage on his brow. 

Here soared an Eagle upwards, all the while 

Looking as if he dared the sun to dim 
His ardent vision, — there a Fish of Nile 

Seemed in another element to swim. 
* The Egyptian Minerva. 



74 THE TEMPLE OF SAIS. 

And last was pictured all the hideous length 

Of a huge Crocodile, — each iron scale 
That ridged the monster's spine, his sinewy strength, 

And the dull gleaming of his bronzed mail. 

" If you would understand each mystic sign," 
So spake a priest to pilgrims gathered round, 

" Give ear before you pass within the shrine, 
Whilst I their deep significance expound. 

" The Old Man and the Boy, — this group implies 
The sense concerns grave age and careless youth ; 

The Eagle, sharp of sight, denotes the wise 
All-seeing One who loves the heart of truth. 

" That animal unclean, the Fish of Nile, 
Which the pure gods detest, doth symbolise 

Hatred and loathing ; and the Crocodile 

That pride which oft assumes devotion's guise. 

" Now hear in full the solemn oracle, 

And shun the worship the immortals hate, — 

" ' ye who soon must bid the world farewell, 
And you who are but entering through its gate ! 

" • Know that the gods, from whose all-piercing eyes 
Night hath no veil, and mortal hearts no shroud, 

Look to the spirit of the sacrifice, 

And hate the impious offerings of the proud.' " 



THE PILGRIMS. iO 



THE PILGEIMS : AN APOLOGUE. 



i. 

Four Pilgrims rose before the dawn Four pii- 

To reach, ere close of day, forthaT 

A royal town, whose turrets rose morning 

J ? light to reach 

Twelve weary leagues away. before even- 

They grasped their staves, and firmly bound Golden City. 

Their dusty sandals on, 
And started forth ere up the East 

The ruddy day-spring shone. 
They knew the gates were shut at eve 

On all who were without ; 
That savage beasts through all the night 

Prowled sullenly about ; 
That many a laggard pilgrim's bones 

Were bleaching on the plain, — 
And fast they strode along the road, 

That happy hold to gain. 
who will first behold the hill 

Those golden turrets crown ? 
who is he who first may see 

The marble-templed town ? 



76 THE PILGRIMS. 



The Pilgrims They struck their staves upon the ground, 
becLI^of 7 Which rung beneath their tread, — 

the heat and gtffl y fa d fe th rQunded sun 

burden of the ° ? 

da y- And faster still they sped. 

Their shortening shadows called to them 

Still faster on to press ; 
And thus they cheered away the thought 

Of toil and weariness : — 
" j°y to enter through the gate ! 

joy to be at home ! 
To hear the welcome shout, — At last 

The wanderer hath come ! " 
Then silently they journeyed on, 

And none his mate addrest ; 
But all the sweeter eve will be, 

And welcomer the rest. 
Their shadows shrink, the white sun darts 

His fiery arrows down ; — 
happy he who first may see 

The marble-templed town ! 



THE PILGRIMS. 



77 



in. 



At noon some palms across the way 

Their broad, cool shadow cast, — 
A well gushed freshly, and the birds 

Sang sweetly as they passed. 
Each pilgrim to his fellow spake, 

And bade him be of cheer, 
When suddenly three men came forth, 

And eyed them with a sneer. 
They followed them with bitter words, 

With flouting gibe and laugh, 
Till roused to anger one stepped round, 

And fiercely raised his staff. 
On him the strangers rushed, with each 

A weapon in his hand, 
And soon the feeble palmer-staff 

Was shivered like a wand. 
They dashed him wounded on the plain,- 

Fast flowed the red blood down ; — 
O hapless he who ne'er shall see 

The marble-templed town ! 



That evil 
thing, Sen- 
sual Passion, 
leadeth one 
of the Pil- 
grims astray. 



78 THE PILGRIMS. 



IV. 



That evil Mournfully onwards went the three, 
suai Plea- They cannot turn nor wait, — 

sure, leadeth Q jf tl s h ou ld not reach the town, 

astray an- 7 J 

other. Ere closing of the gate ! 

The hot sun glows, no palm-tree throws 

Its shadow o'er the way, 
And, parched with thirst, they faint beneath 

The burden of the day. 
They see some camels near a tent 

Where other wayfarers rest, 
Who, as they pass, with courtesy 

The weary band addrest. 
They bid them drown their thirst in wine, 

And hold a goblet up, — 
One turns aside into the tent 

And quaffs the mantling cup : 
He thought of the long weary way, 

And then he sate him down ; — 
wretched he who ne'er may see 

The marble-templed town ! 



TOE PILGRIMS. 



79 



They heard the merry shouts that rose 

From out the revellers' tent, 
And many a sad thought stirred beneath 

Their silence as they went. 
Three hours from noon the sun had crept 

Still farther down the sky, 
When, as they journeyed, on the left 

They heard a joyful cry. 
And one ran up whose hand was full 

Of coins of ruddy gold, — 
" Come, follow me," he cried, " and share 

A mine of wealth untold. 
For years I knew of treasures hid 

Within a secret spot, 
About a bow-shot off, and long, 

But vainly, for them sought ; 
But Fortune hath, with tardy smile, 

My toils at last repaid : 
This gold is from a jar which I 

Have shivered with my spade. 



The two re- 
maining Pil- 
grims are as- 
saulted by a 
grievous 
temptation. 



80 THE PILGRIMS. 



VI. 



That evil " Now turn aside, and share the spoil 
ousness,iead- That is before us cast, — 

tMrdPir he Y ° U Wel1 ma y trUSt the g ener0US heart 

s rim - That hailed you as you passed. 

The brazen vases stand in rows, 

Full-swollen with gems and gold, 
Coins, ingots, heavy chains, inwrought 

By hands of craftsmen old." 
One paused awhile and thought, "What harm 

If I should turn aside ? 
'Tis but a moment," — and he left 

The highway with his guide. 
He sees the dusky gold, the pearls, 

The chains that dimly shone, 
And all his thoughts of home and friends 

Are on the instant gone. 
That evil thing, the lust of wealth, 

Up in his heart hath grown ; — 
wretched he who ne'er shall see 

The marble-templed town ! 



THE PILGRIMS. 



81 



VII. 



All clouded were the Pilgrim's eyes 

And heavy was his heart, 
When from his side he saw his friend 

For evermore depart. 
The last of four that rose at dawn, 

He goes upon his way, 
And now the lengthening shadow shows 

The pauseless flight of day. 
More carefully he girds his loins, 

More firmly grasps his staff, 
Though, as he passes, oft he hears 

The loud insulting laugh, 
And sees the finger of his foes 

That points him out to scorn, 
As the fond fool who madly dares 

An enterprise forlorn: 
And oft to lead his steps astray 

They veil their hate with smiles, 
And seek with smooth and flattering words 

To lure him to their wiles. 



The fourth 
Pilgrim go- 
eth sorrow- 
fully on his 
way, but 
keepeth his 
integrit . 



82 THE PILGRIMS. 



VIII. 



The Pilgrim Though often with a sinking heart, 

mount from Yet with a constant mind, 

ha h th h a h cheeiv The pilgrim journeyed on in hope, 

in g vision of ^or ever looked behind. 

the Golden 

City. But when at last with toil he gained 

A hill's umbrageous brow, 
How fair a vision lighted up 

The spacious plain below ! 
The Golden City spread afar, 

All reddened with the light, 
And radiant palaces and towers, 

And marble temples white ; 
And fresh through richest verdure ran 

A river clear and cool, — 
Sure never to a pilgrim's eye 

Was sight so beautiful. 
His face is bright, his heart is light, 

The elastic soul doth bound 
Within him, and his foot at last 

Hath touched the holy ground. 



THE PILGRIMS. 



83 



IX. 



He passes through the gate, and hears 

The voice of jubilant psalms, — 
And white-robed citizens come forth 

To greet him, bearing palms; 
And all the mingling bells ring out, 

And all the minstrels sing, — 
Sure never to a pilgrim's ear 

Were sounds so ravishing. 
Harp, cittern, lute, and dulcimer, 

How sweetly do they play ! 
How kind the glances and the smiles 

That meet him on the way ! 
They clothe him with a snowy robe, 

They lead him to the feast, 
And there the Prince of all the land 

Bids welcome to his guest. 
And thus the minstrels sing, while goes 

The peaceful evening down : — 
" happy he who now doth see 

The marble-templed town ! " 



He entereth 
through the 
gate into the 
City, and 
findeth wel- 
come and 
rest. 



84 THE ABBOT AND FOOL. 



THE ABBOT AND FOOL. 



The Fool made mirth in the convent-hall, 

While the Abbot and monks were feasting all, — 

" Now, sirrah, come hither," the Abbot cried, 

And he took up a staff that lay by his side ; 

" With this staff in my name you will promise to greet 

The veriest fool you may chance to meet." 

The monks applauded with hearty laugh, 

And the Fool assented and took the staff. 

Not long after the Abbot fell sick, 
And he lay on his bed breathing short and quick ; 
All who saw how he gasped for breath 
Knew that his sickness would end in death. 
For the parting soul many masses were said ; 
And monks were kneeling about his bed, 
And friends stood round with looks of gloom, 
When the Fool came softly into the room. 

" Alas ! " said the Abbot, with heavy moan, 
" That I must leave all, and be quickly gone ! " 



THE ABBOT AND FOOL. 85 

" And whither, dear uncle, must thou go," 

Asked the Fool, " from the friends who love thee so ? " 

" I must go to a country far away, 

A summons is come that I must obey." 

" But if thou must go, thou hast treasures rare, — 

These thou wilt take, and be happy there ! " 

" Alas ! " said the Abbot, " though loath of mind, 
My jewels and gold I must leave behind/* 
" But, then, you have surely out of your store 
Sent the choice of all that you loved before ? " 
" Alas ! " said the Abbot, with mortal groan, 
" There is nothing prepared, yet I must be gone ; 
I have made no provision against the way, 
And a message is come that brooks no delay ! " 

" Nothing ! but, sure, you have taken heed 

To secure a friend to supply your need ? " 

" I have none ! " he shrieked, " for I wished not to go, 

And that makes the journey so fearful now ! " 

" Here, then, is a staff which may stand thee in stead/' 

And he laid it down on the Abbot's bed ; 

" If what thou hast spoken be true, I greet 

The veriest fool I ever did meet ! " 



THE BIRD AND THE BEE. 



THE BIED AND THE BEE. 



The Bird is your true Poet. I have seen him 

When the snow wrapped his seeds, and not a crumb 

Was in his larder, perch upon a branch, 

And sing out of his brave heart a song of trust 

In Providence, who feeds him though he sows not, 

Nor gathers into barns. Whate'er his fears 

Or sorrows be, his spirit bears him up. 

Cares ne'er o'ermaster him, — for 'tis his wont 

To stifle them with music, — out of sight 

He buries them in the depth of his sweet song, 

And gives them a melodious sepulture. 

He teaches me Philosophy, — yea, more, 
He leads me up to Faith. 

Your busy Bee 
No favourite is of mine. There is no music 
In that monotonous hum. To me it seems 
A trumpet, which the little Pharisee 
Sounds, that the common people of the field 
May well regard his industry, and mark 
How he improves the sunshine. Even that song 



THE BIRD AND THE BEE. 87 

Dies with the flowers ; for when the dreary days 
Of winter come, he folds his wing to lie 
In his luxurious halls, and there amidst 
His magazines of daintiest food, and vaults 
Brimming with luscious amber-coloured wine. 
The spiritless sluggard dreams away his hours ; 
Or if he wake, 'tis but to gorge himself 
In solitude with the rich surfeiting fare 
Of an exclusive feast. His hospitality 
No stranger ever shares. Heedless he sees 
His mates of summer droop and starve before 
His frozen gates. He revels deep within ; 
Without they die : yet the small misanthrope 
Shall guard his treasures with a surly sting ! 



88 THE PEASANT AXD THE POET. 



THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 



How diverse are the specular points of thought 
Whence mortal minds, though quickened by one breath, 
Behold this glorious world ! 

The Peasant sate 
Under an alder by a river's side 
At noon. It was the warm and pleasant time 
Of early summer. All the air was sweet 
With breath of violets, and the blackbird spoke 
To the hushed woods at intervals, or threw 
Out of the thicket snatches of sweet song 
In the caprices of his fearless joy. 
A gladsome life was humming in the air 
And stirring in the grass ; small insects swam 
In eddying dances o'er the rippling stream, 
Which breathed a coolness round it ; — but the eye 
Of him who sat so near to Nature's heart 
Was blank and dull, — his sluggish soul unstirred 
By those strong pulses of abounding life. 
It now roamed restlessly from the thin clouds, 
That necked the soft blue sky, to an emerald patch 



THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 89 

Of springing wheat, which had not for some days 
Been freshened by the gentle visiting rains. 
His brow was clouded with a deep distrust. 
As thriving, but as churlish as the Jew 
Who sheared his sheep in Carmel, he had reaped 
His harvests from his youth, and never knew 
The appointed course of Nature fail, — but learned 
No thankfulness. It was his wont to watch 
And wear out the slow passage of the months 
With sighing, and, untutored by the past, 
To chide the sunshine for one ray too bright, 
And count suspiciously the drops of rain. 
Such minds, case-hardened in their selfishness, 
Can take no view of mighty laws at work 
Beyond the narrow limits of one grange 
Or homestead, — never balance private loss 
Against a general gain, — nor apprehend 
The genial mystery of life, and growth, 
And fruitfulness, in even passage round 
The world. They fret that highest Providence 
Stands never at their middle point, nor marks 
The several seasons off, and intersects 
The elements by lines as clear and sharp 
As the degrees upon a weather-glass. 

No lesson had this vacant soul derived 
From the deep symbols which the universe 
Held ever in his eye, — no charm discerned 
In its still varying aspects. For to him 



90 THE PEASANT AMD THE POET. 

The world was voiceless. Never to his heart 
Came from its tuneful movement those accords 
Which, through the lingering seasons, sound for those 
Whose ears, by thoughtful discipline, incline 
Unto its sweet and spiritual song. 

Upon the further bank of the clear stream, 
That winded through the alders at his feet 
With shallowy, lulling noise, a verdant slope 
Appeared, now golden with the broom, — the haunt 
Of birds, which there rang all the summer-hours 
With weariless voices. To this breezy height, 
Solicited by their songs, now climbed a youth, 
With foot that crushed the thyme-blooms clustering 

low 
Among the roots of grass, or muffled sank 
In the plump mosses. He had walked within 
Thy myrtle grove, gentle Poesy ! — 
With old philosophies, sublimely taught 
In Attic or in Alexandrian schools, 
His earnest soul had grappled. His dim lamp 
Had oft outwatched the stars, the while it shone 
On records wherein patient thought beholds 
The image of the Future in the Past, — 
Stores mellow wisdom from the ripe-sheaved fruits 
Of old Experience, — and detects the springs 
Of action, which, elastic and unworn, 
Vibrate through all varieties of life, 



THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 91 

Fulfil the will of sovran Providence, 

And move the World through Darkness, Fear, and 

Change, 
Towards a brighter Destiny. 

To him 
Earth still her look of ancient glory wore, 
Xor faded was the rich empyreal light 
From mountain, wood, and sea. His fervid mind 
Was conscious of a movement and a glow, 
Self* sprung, but quickened by the things of sense, 
Of deep capacities within it, whence 
The radiance of Imagination gleamed, 
As the clear fire waves upwards from a soil 
Instinct and quick with bubbling naphtha- springs ; 
And fancies trembled through it many-hued 
And beautiful, like needles of the frost 
That sparkle in the sunlit Arctic air. 
Not yet had chilling Disappointment breathed 
Upon his generous ardour, nor had Death 
Within the charmed circle of his hopes 
Made threatening entrance, nor Ingratitude 
Shattered his faith in man. Unknown to him 
Was that sharp sorrow which is born of Time, 
Which, like the shadow, lengthens on our path 
As life slopes from its noon. So now he girt 
And braced his spirit for ennobling toil, 
That, when the joyous summons came, he might 
Play well his part upon the crowded stage. 



92 THE PEASANT ANT) THE POET. 

The early summer dawn had called him up 
To studious labour, cheerfully resumed ; 
And wearied now with unrelaxing thought, 
He sauntered forth to pass no idle hour 
Under the freshness of the open sky. 
The beauty he beheld in heaven, and earth, 
And air, touched his free spirit in its depths 
With thankfulness and love. A tingling sense 
Of joy refined and pure, a consciousness 
Of Majesty and Glory shed abroad 
Through the wide realms of Nature, lifted up 
His mind to Him whose Spirit lives through all, 
And gives all breath and bloom, as if he saw 
The universe in God's immediate smile 
Silent and blessed lying ; his soul was moved 
Within him in a trance of deep delight, 
And with a throbbing heart and sparkling eye 
He gazed around him from the wooded mount, 
And in the ear of Nature spoke aloud, 
Wedding the music of his thoughts to words : — 

" This visible World is the transparent woof 
On which the spirit figures to itself 
Its fleeting images. The forming mind 
Creates and blends the colours, pencils out 
The whole device of that mysterious web, 
Whose rich entangled cyphers represent 
All spiritual light and shadow. Hence to some 



THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 93 

The curtain of the universe is dyed 

With black and purple hues ; its sombre folds 

Hang close and heavy, loading all with gloom, — 

Or to some viewless influence move and shake, 

Like vapours warping on a breeze remote ! 

In other eyes, it quivers as a blue 

And lucid veil, investing forms of sense 

With softer loveliness, and interfused 

With tints more beauteous than the gleams of dawn. 

But 'tis the mind itself that radiates 

This light, or spreads this darkness round the world. 

The flakes of crimson cloud that drift at even 

Through a clear sky, that undulates with waves 

Of amber light, — the shadowy Coming up 

Of Evening through the element, — the slow 

Arising of the Moon behind a grove, — 

The golden-mailed legions of the sky, 

Led on by that white Star that shines so pure 

And brilliant in its singleness, — the haze 

Of sunlight on the sea, where water blends 

With fluent air, — the glooms of summer woods, — 

The misty blueness of the distant hills, — 

Are beautiful ; their fascination charms 

The sense ; but theirs is beauty of the mind 

Not less than of the eye. To him who loves, 

The thought of that beloved One, who lights 

Both hemispheres of Memory and Hope, 

[The one full-rounded populous world of Love, 



94 THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 

Where Hope makes Day, and Memory moony Night,] 

Is blended with them all, — yea, beautifies 

All Nature with a lustre of its own. 

And to the glance of him who lives by Faith, 

"Whose hopes have overspired the cloud of Sense, 

Whose heart still points to Heaven, — this glorious world 

Is as a sacred page illuminate 

And charactered in stainless hues of light 

With holy mysteries. Each form of life 

Or growth, — each calm, unconscious mood of things 

Fixed in eternal sameness, deep and still, — 

Each varying aspect of Creation's face, 

Give nourishment to thoughts that live in things 

Unseen. Each voice or sound that meets his ear 

From hedge or woodland, vale or open field, 

Touches some spring of feeling, or reveals 

Some sudden parable of truth. Perchance 

That Galilean scene will live again 

Upon the eye, when He whose mind perceived 

The clearness of the deepest thoughts of God, 

Expounded His divine philosophy 

By types familiar to the careless glance 

Of common men. Thus all that he beholds, 

Becomes the sign of things whose Archetypes 

Are hid for ever in the Holy Mount ! " 

The Peasant listened to these words, and more, 
Then spoken, which it boots not to rehearse. 



THE PEASANT AND THE POET. 95 

" I have heard of such !" he said, and eyed the youth 

Not without pity. To his heart untuned 

They sounded like some idle rhapsody, 

The loose-linked utterance of a dreamy mind. 

So in mid-ocean two shell-crusted planks, 
Wrenched on some night of tempest from the ribs 
Of ships wrecked far asunder, meet and touch 
A moment, drifted by the changeful winds 
Or currents cross, — but only meet to part 
For ever, and heave onwards restlessly 
Over the trackless waves to opposite poles. 



96 TO WORDSWORTH. 



TO WOKDSWOKTH. 



Ille velut fidis arcana sodalibus olim 
Credebat libris ; neque, si male cesserat, usquam 
Decurrens alio, neque si bene ; quo fit ut omnis 
Votiva pateat veluti descripta tabella 
Yita senis. 

Qui sibi fidit, 
Dux regit examen. 

Horace. 



To thee, my latest and not least-loved guide, 
In those sequestered haunts where finer minds 
Take refuge, where, in shadows of still thought, 
They lead a tranquil life : to thee, the true 
And Master-Poet of our time, I owe 
Some tribute, and would fain connect thy name 
With these, the records of some lonely hours. 

I have not looked upon thy living face, 
Though once, a wayfarer, I stood beside 
Thy gate, desirous to fulfil a wish 
Long cherished. But a cloud had gathered then 
Over thy dwelling ; and the shrouded form 



TO WORDSWORTH. 97 

Of Death sate by thy threshold. I would not 

Thrust myself in between thee and thy woe, — 

So with some leaves from thy thick clustering sheaves 

Of laurel, I passed up along the lake, 

Upon a way familiar with thy feet, 

Reverencing the sacredness of grief. 

It was a peaceful evening of June, 
"When not a wind was whispering through the reeds 
Of Rydal. Island, tree, and purpling hill 
Beheld their shadows charmed to steadfastness 
In the unbreathing water. The low chime 
Of the church-bell spoke musical and clear 
Over the lake, 

'Tis pleasant, in these scenes 
Of tropical luxuriance now outspread 
Around me, — brakes of myrtle, orange-groves, 
Overplumed here and there by some tall palm, 
And clouds of vines, slow-ripening in the warmth 
Of these blue Libyan skies, — to let the mind 
Recall that summer evening, when I went 
Foot-wandering through thy sweet vales, and felt 
The blossoming hawthorn scent thy happier air, 
England ! 

Much in these past days I mused 
Amidst the scenes from which thy verse has drawn 
Its genial inspiration ; — much since then, 
In other lands, of what my life of mind 



98 TO WORDSWORTH. 

In solitary growth, and silent joy, 

From pure resources, to the lowliest sphere 

Benignly ministered, has owed to thee, 

Great Poet ! For to me it likewise chanced, 

In my unguided youth, to wander far, 

And, parched with intellectual thirst, to drink 

At those polluted wells, which, for the bane 

Of after-times, a strong but reckless art 

Had opened. There I lingered long, in hope 

To find refreshment, but strange bitterness 

"Was in the draught, and after it no sense 

Of free and bracing gladness. Then, when first, 

In this revulsion of the heart, I turned 

To paths despised before, and felt the power 

That dwelt in thy tranquillity to soothe 

And harmonize the mincl, — the peace inhaled 

From still communion with the tranquil forms 

Of Nature, whose low voices seemed to haunt 

Thy song, as wind among the forest-leaves, — 

It was as if, while straying far and lone 

Through a wide wilderness, I had suddenly 

Found a green valley folded in fair hills, 

And in the midst a fresh and lucid pool, 

In whose unwrinkled deeps, each little spire 

Of grass, each reed that fringed it, and each rock 

Moss-stained that overhung it, had most clear 

Pieflection, with the statelier images 

Of tree and girdling mountain. There I have since 



TO WORDSWORTH. 99 

Tarried with grateful heart, still finding more 

Delight and solace in the delicate air 

Of unpolluted Nature, — learning more 

Of the maternal care with which she tends, 

And the mild beauty wherewith she has blessed, 

Her lowliest offspring. Nor, while, for this good 

By my own mind inherited, I own 

My thankfulness, am I less deeply stirred 

In heart, when, glancing wider, I can trace 

In purer tone and feeling, holier love 

And reverence for truth, and a return 

To old and long -neglected paths of thought 

(Paths through the deep, rank forest early cleared 

By our forefathers), blessings manifold 

The general age inherits with thy verse. 

Enough we had, more than enough, of wild 
And gloomy portraitures, — proud spirits driven 
To frenzy by their passions, foaming out 
Their shame, — minds whose depravity became 
An inspiration, breathing through despair, 
And clothing blasphemy with burning words. 
There Vice made men heroic, — Life appeared 
A masquerade of phantoms, raised above 
Our mortal stature, who, with devilish wails 
From under their dark vizors, and anon 
With devilish laughter, raved across its stage, 
As if the fiends had come to dwell with flesh. 



100 TO WORDSWORTH. 

There came the sated sensualist, well-skilled 
In self-anatomy, on whose thin lips 
The bitterness of a bad heart frothed up 
In sneers ; with him, the Sceptic, nobly-born, 
But wretched, through whose strange soliloquies 
Faltered some guilty secret, that might throw 
A charm of mystery round his blighted youth. 
Nor were there wanting outlaws, and self-spurned 
Apostates, who, in ruin, still retained 
One mild redeeming virtue, — who could lead 
Eeckless and stormy lives, and trample shame 
When need were under foot, and shout for joy 
Through the dun smoke of battle, yet recall 
Their fiery spirits, when their hawk-like flight 
Was in its highest circle, to the lure 
Of Love ; for Love was linked with all, and threw 
Its bland enchantment over scenes of blood. 
Then the scene shifted to the chime of sweet 
Voluptuous numbers, — gorgeous visions flushed 
The odour-steaming air, rich stained lights, 
And silken draperies, and lutes that breathed 
A slumberous music to a damsel's tale, — 
A lovelorn maiden, passing fair, who clung 
To some strong, desperate nature with a fond 
Fidelity, as the green plant twines round 
A blasted tree. 

And this was human life. 
Such was its inward struggle, such its griefs 



TO WORDSWORTH. 101 

And joys, — for such our sympathies were claimed : 
For Wickedness that bared to the world's eye 
Its festering sores, — for Suffering that awoke 
Her selfish wail, unhumbled for the guilt 
That caused it, — for Despair which, from its depths, 
At Heaven still hurled defiance, — and for Pride 
That, vengeance-scathed and unrepentant, bore 
Its curse, and lifted high its branded brow. 

Thus to its highest heaven could Song exalt 
All that was false, unnatural, and foul. 

Out of this faint and sickly atmosphere, 
And strife of hateful passion, thou wert first 
To lead us into pure and liberal air ; 
Thy hand, prevailing Poet ! found the string 
To which the heart responded, — from it drew 
Mysterious harmonies, and struck it till 
The mild vibration, drowned at first, rose clear, 
Like some sweet, silvery voice, over the din 
Of clamorous instruments, and held the time 
Charmed by its mere simplicity, that made 
A silence for itself, till all around 
Its echoes multiplied and filled the land. 
The freshness of the vernal woods possessed 
Thy stately song, — the sounds of summer-hills, — 
The goings of the wind in the close tops 
Of trees, — the babbling of the brook, that seems 
To the old man's heart a voice from far-off days 



102 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Of childhood, — and from these its tones of strength 

And tenderness it drew. So thou stoodst forth 

The Interpreter of Nature to the mind, 

To teach us all that lay beneath her sounds 

And silences, her changes and repose, 

The mystery of her kindredness with man, — 

The likeness of a human face beneath 

The veil of Isis, answering smiles and tears, — 

An aspect shifting to our every mood, — 

A beating heart that presses up to ours 

In concord ; to explain what we had felt 

In hours of tranquil thought, but wanted words 

To utter, and were glad without the will 

To trace the hidden wellspring of our joy. 

'Twas thine, benign Hierophant ! to show 

The fine relations which, in the mind's sphere, 

Invest the universe with glory and light 

Unknown to sense ; to make the soul infuse 

Its own life into Nature's lifeless forms, — 

And then, receiving what it gave, to move 

Among them as its thoughts ; to take them up 

Into the substance of its being, and evoke, 

Where'er it turned^ clear shapes and images 

Of its emotions, coloured with the hues 

Of fantasy, and crowd the element 

Of consciousness with creatures of its own. 

Thus, interpenetrated by the mind, 

The simplest scenes and pleasures to thy glance 



TO WORDSWORTH. 103 

Were beautified ; and not a lonely bird 

From whose small heritage of song thy soul 

Was not enriched, and not a woodland flower 

Over which thou, full-hearted, didst not stoop 

And give it benediction. The blue smoke 

Curling from cottage roofs awoke the sense , 

Of sympathy within thee with the life 

Beneath. It spoke to thee of humble men,^— 

Their trials and their .sorrows, the hard strife 

Of poverty, the daily round of toil, 

The anxieties of sickness, clouded days 

Slow darkening to death. The gleams of joy 

With which the meanest lot is brightened made 

Thee glad, and all its genial virtues found 

With thee their celebration. Thus thy art 

Stood singular, as some pure instrument 

Or temple-pipe reserved for lofty themes, 

To chant, in solemn tones, the nobleness 

Of Love, and Trust, and Patience ; to expound 

The law of Kindness, and the power which dwells 

In Virtue sheathed in Gentleness ; to show 

The heroism of a life which walks 

With meek endurance in its separate path 

Of suffering ; and the loveliness of Hope, 

And home-bred Innocence, and guileless Truth. 

And hence the freedom, purity, and glow 
That gave thy verse its charm. Its voice was strong 



104 TO WORDSWORTH. 

And musical, as of the sounds that haunt 
The hills, — -its movement graceful in the joy 
Of overflowing life, — its bloom the healthy flush 
And freshness ministered by bracing winds 
And unpolluted air. Through all its veins 
Of thought the tranquil pulses rose and fell, — 
The calm, slow beating of the heart was heard. 

Such are thy well-earned honours ; high, compared 
With those inherited from powers debased, 
And Genius that could stoop to be the slave 
Of sensual passion. It was well to lead 
A wildered age back to the love and truth 
Of uncorrupted Nature. Yet renown 
Still higher, which thou mightst have claimed and won, 
Is wanting. There are deeper needs which thou 
Hast left unprobed, unsounded, — holier ends, 
Which this mysterious nature lives to serve, 
Than thou hast recognised ; and to the sphere 
From which those principles of action flow 
Which mould and rule man, as a being formed 
For immortality, 'tis thy reproach, 
That in this clearness of the Christian light 
Thy strain has seldom soared. Thy chosen task 
Might have been done as now, yet this august 
Endeavour, worthy of thy tempered powers, 
Not left undone. For Nature, though endowed 
With kindly ministrations, which avail 



TO WORDSWORTH. 105 

To soothe the spirit, fevered in the strife 

And fret of selfish passions, and assuage, 

As by the virtue of an anodyne, 

That restlessness of heart which earthly cares 

Engender, wooing the distempered mind 

To linger in her sweet society, 

Until the current of its thought runs clear 

And freshens, is most impotent to reach 

That shadowy seat of conflict in the depths 

Of this our spiritual being, — the dim lists 

"Wherein loud Conscience and the broken law, 

In dark array, against the trembling soul 

Marshal all terrors and all powers which troop 

Under the banner of an angry God. 

In that dread season when the thoughts, long bound 

Like seeds beneath the frozen clods, begin 

To stir, and burst their cells, and germinate 

"With a new life, and seeking everywhere 

For light, through the encumbering darkness, shoot 

Toward the crevices through which faint gleams 

Reach from the Eternal, — when the mystery 

And weight of evil, felt to be within 

And all around it, presses heavily 

Upon the mind, and every struggle it makes 

To break from its entanglement, entwines 

The meshes of the net more closely round, — 

That light and power, through which it may attain 

To freedom, from a higher sphere must come 

H 



106 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Than the low circle of the universe 

Horizoned by the eye. It faints beneath 

This crushing load, the consciousness of Guilt, 

Whereunto ever a vague haunting Fear 

Cleaves as the shadow of Death. Beholding now 

The true end of its being, and the claim 

Of an eternal law to all its love 

And loyalty, the sense of its revolt 

From God, and willing vassalage to Sin, 

Strikes through it as a pang, and, self-condemned, 

Self-loathed, it bows its head without a plea, 

Full in the sweep of that clear sword which guards 

The Majesty of Heaven. mystery 

Of grace surpassing thought ! a trembling hope 

Is, for the lowly mourner, born from out 

The travail of his soul, — a still small voice 

Bids him look up, and see the Sacrifice 

Still bleeding in its wounds for him, upon 

The Altar-Throne of Heaven, and, as he looks, 

Speaks to him of forgiveness, soothes and stills 

The alarm of Conscience, and, with gentle strength, 

Goes forth through all the elements of the soul, 

And charms them into holy quietness. 

Such is the reconcilement Nature needs, — 
Solution for her doubts, abiding peace 
For an inbred disquietude, and health 
For a deep-seated plague, not to be reached 



TO WORDSWORTH. 107 

Save through His minstering grace benign 

Who lias revealed Himself to man, apart 

From inarticulate symbols, in the Word, 

Instinct with spirit and penetrating life, 

As a redeeming God. At peace with Him 

Through this divine atonement, light is shed 

On all the high relations which link man 

To the Eternal, as the native haunt 

And region of his being. Through the veil 

That once concealed the sanctuary, a gleam, 

Serene, and beautiful, and holy, falls 

Upon the mind, and in the light of God, 

As its clear element and new-born sense, 

The purged eye beholds the glory of things 

Invisible, the beauty of holiness, 

The fair perfections that invest and crown 

The Godhead, and in these its perfect bliss 

And consummation, as a being dowered 

With Immortality. Where'er it shines, 

Upspring the seeds of life, and sacred powers, 

That branch like veins through all the conscious heart, 

Possess it inwardly. The awakening breath 

Of the Eternal Spirit moves and stirs 

Within it, as upon the gloomy deeps 

From which arose the World. He, as a soul 

Within the soul, fdls it with vigorous life, 

Transforms it by the holy power of Love, 

Exalts it to a generous liberty 



108 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Chartered by highest law, so that it feels 

The blessedness of freedom, circumscribed 

By one serene and all-embracing Will. 

For as the same round sky encompasseth 

The earth, and bounds with its blue luminous walls, 

Sunbright, or starred with unconsuming fires, 

The furthest range of vision, all pure minds 

Within that boundless circle breathe the air 

Of Freedom and of Duty ; — all their paths 

Harmonious are but epicycles traced 

In the large orbit of the Will Divine. 

Thereunder all immortal natures stand 

In stateliness and beauty, each most free, 

Yet each most self- surrendered, each distinct 

In its own perfectness, while the same type 

Moulds and consummates all, as in a wood 

The trees that spring from the same seeds are one 

In essence, and yet each unfolds and finds 

Matureness in a diverse growth and spread 

Of branches, the one type self-multiplied 

In infinite variety. 

Thus the soul, 
Quickened by the free Spirit, expands and grows 
In freedom to the topmost height and flower 
Of its perfection ; thus to man are born 
The peace, the joy, the calm and heavenly hope, 
For which he might search Nature through and through, 
But vainly, — which abide with him through all 






TO WORDSWORTH. 109 

The wasting grief and moonlike changefulness 

Of life. Thus Suffering, transmuted, grows 

The discipline of Faith, and is endued 

With purifying virtue from above. 

Not from the ground it springs, but down from Heaven 

Descends, with power to deepen and to cleanse 

The channels of the heart, which the world chokes 

With weeds and rubbish, that the stream of life 

May have a full and unimpeded flow. 

Prevailing love to God, now recognised, 

In the large effluence of His love to man, 

As a most tender Father, — love to Him 

Who on the cross shed unpolluted blood 

For man's Redemption, is the living spring 

Of saintly virtue, breathes through all the life 

The spirit of a sacrifice, — begets 

A love to all that God loves, and to man 

As God's. Love is the charm, the exorcism 

That casts the spirit of terror from the heart, — 

That fear, akin to hate, which slavelike crouched 

In the Taskmaster's eye, and did him cold 

Reluctant fealty ; and where Love dwells 

She makes a shrine, — all graces pure and fair, 

Like temple-haunting birds, do thither come 

As to a finer air, a sanctuary 

Which all serene untroubled influences 

Defend and beautify. Thus, even now, 

Some visitations of a heavenly joy, 



110 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Calm festivals of thought, are to the soul 

Not unfamiliar. Oat of purity 

Grows up a sacred peace, which the vain world 

Can neither give, nor touch, nor take away. 

Its breath may never reach the tranquil depth 

Wherein that guerdon lies, — as the loud wind, 

That raves incessant on the mountain heights, 

Ruffles not the clear pool that sunken lies 

In their deep hollows. Life's loud storms, which break 

Around it, may not overwhelm the heart 

That has the steadfast anchor of its hope 

Within the veil, nor strain in one weak link 

The chain that holds it grappled to the Rock 

That overbrows Eternity. And Death, 

Life's shrouded, sleepless Phantom, King of Terrors, 

Who holds out his dark riddle, as the Sphinx, 

To all time's generations, and draws down 

Each to his cave in turn, around whose mouth 

Their bones lie bleaching, — dumb but armed Shadow 

That haunts our path through every turn of life, 

And with a soundless footfall treads behind, 

And hangs an unintelligible weight 

Upon the spirit, and strikes a mortal blow 

Into the heart of happiness, — unsolved 

And ever-looming Mystery, for whose power 

Nature hath no device nor charm of strength, 

But only answers us with groan for groan, — 

Is here discrowned : upon this holy soil 



TO WORDSWORTH. Ill 

Draws off his sandal, and awaits a voice, — 

Stands disenchanted in the look of Faith, — 

Unvizored of his spectral mask, he stands 

Transfigured to an angel, who leads forth 

The spirit from its prison, and all the way 

Through the dark valley shows it in the mould 

The footmarks of the Prince of Life, there left 

To mark for His redeemed the sacred path 

To immortality. Celestial hope ! 

That shines the ascendant star of gloomy hours, 

When some beloved form hath passed away, 

Some kindred nature which the heart grew round 

And lived in, which on its departure takes 

Light from the sky, and gladness from the earth, — 

The hope that it has entered into rest 

Supernal, joined the saintly company 

"Who worship day and night, where never Sin 

Can come, nor Pain, nor Sorrow, and that soon 

We too shall pass the golden gates, and swell 

This lofty celebration, and rejoice 

With those who went before us in a joy 

Unutterable, and pure, and ending never, 

Within the City of God. 

would that thou, 
Poet of Nature ! hadst more deeply felt, 
And, having felt, unfolded in thy verse 
These fears and struggles, hopes and tranquil joys ! 



112 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Would thou hadst known that only in this depth 

The strong foundations of our inward life 

Are laid securely, and the building reared 

To its divine completeness ! Then thy song 

Had been an oracle of higher truth 

To man ; then Nature had not seemed less fair, 

Nor elements and forms, which to thy mind 

Grave forth their deep significance, become 

Silent and charmless. Fuller harmonies 

Had rolled from them over thy tranced soul, 

And thou, interpreting through them the voice 

Of G-od, imparted to all visible things 

A purer consecration. In that light, 

More open vision would have been vouchsafed, 

And a diviner faculty, to chant, 

Not Nature's praise, but in undying tones 

The praise of Him who formed it. For apart 

From God thus recognised, and ever kept 

In the mind's foreground, the exalted sense 

Of beauty, by a subtil art, may lead 

To the enthronement of the work, in place 

Of the great Master-Builder. Man may search 

For influences to nurture and refine, 

And dream he finds them there, while deeper wants 

Remain unsatisfied, and, thus beguiled, 

Resign his being to a passionate love 

Of that materialism which, with all 



TO WORDSWORTH. 113 

Its splendours mingling in one gorgeous woof, 

Is but the curtain hung before the shrine. 

Would that, clear-toned as thine, great Bard! my voice 

Could lift rebuke against this tendency 

Of a too sensuous age, — this overfond 

Devotion to the beautiful and fair, 

Which would seduce us from the personal God, 

To worship some abstraction of the mind, 

Clothed in the forms of Nature ! Men evoke 

Some fantasy apparelled in cloudy pomp 

Of words, — the Spirit of the Universe, 

Or plastic Soul of Nature, or the Power 

Of Intellectual Beauty, — and to this, 

Their idol, out of dazzling images 

And glowing thoughts compacted, — as of old 

The desert Apis from the golden rings 

And chains of Israel, — they proclaim a feast 

Of high inauguration, and, with sound 

Of sweetest minstrelsy, they set it up, 

And call the world to worship. Let them learn 

That Nature, though to rarest spirit refined 

In their ideal visions, is not God, 

But from God, — that her glories, at their height, 

Reveal no avatar of the Divine, 

Xo incarnation of presiding Mind. 

Her ministration and her noblest aim 

Arc then fulfilled when, in her silent signs 



114 TO WORDSWORTH. 

And in the language of her face, we read 
That He who formed her is alone divine, 
And spurns divided honours. 

Over all 
His works let His high attributes of power, 
Of majesty, of wisdom, and of grace, 
Stand eminent, — far-glittering spires that rise 
High o'er the crowded mass, and lead the thoughts 
To heaven. Thus, to the Greeks, who saw of old 
The templed mount of Athens from the gulf, 
The point of Pallas' spear, herself unseen, 
Gleamed o'er the snowy Parthenon, — a sign 
That she, the tutelar goddess, kept her watch 
Over the festive city. 

It were well 
That some, whose stately creed reserves no place 
For evangelic truths, which to the heart 
Of the unlettered peasant evidence 
Their heavenly power, and build his being up 
In silent sanctity, — some who would spurn, 
As the weak dream of fancy, his belief 
In the Eternal Spirit who transforms 
His inward life, — should learn that there may be 
A mysticism of reason as of faith. 
His thoughts may have a loftier range than theirs, 
Who speak as if the self-included mind 
By force of meditation could extract 
All aids to strengthen, guide, and purify, 



TO WORDSWORTH. 115 

From Nature, — may, in solitude, become 

Passive recipient of the influences 

That bless her quiet realms, and be transformed 

Into the likeness of the images 

Of majesty and beauty they behold. 

The thoughtful spirit may be thus upborne 

Into some airy region, but can find 

Xo healthful nurture there, — cannot confront 

Its immortality, nor look through death 

With an upholding hope. The mountain peaks 

Of contemplation are the barren haunts 

Of everlasting snow, if, to the mind 

That dwells on them, the presence of its God 

Yield not reflection to all rays of light. 

These were thy haunts, O poet ! and, though thou 
Didst not leave Him unpraised, a firmer grasp, 
A more habitual and presiding sense 
Of His pure presence in thy life of thought 
And consciousness, had given a warmer glow 
Of fervour to thy song. Thou wouldst have felt 
The pulses of thy inmost being beat 
With quicker rapture, and thy thronging thoughts, 
Making sweet music as they came from depths 
Within the soul, insphered their passionate force, 
Not in an Orphic, but a prophet's hymn 
Of surging adoration. 

There was one 
Whose name stands high upon his country's roll 



116 TO WORDSWORTH. 

Of poets, who, amidst a faithless age, 

Stood forward for the honour of his God, — 

Fresh be his memory to the ends of time, 

The pensive bard of Olney ! From the depths 

Of an unknown despair he could proclaim 

The heavenly hope to which the angels tuned 

Their harps at Bethlehem, and, in the woe 

Which crushed his gentle spirit, he could taste 

An angel's joy to see each wanderer 

Returning to that Father's house, whose .gates 

He deemed were shut on him. Within that heart 

There dwelt a love of Nature, deep, and true, 

And fervent as was thine. To him the sight 

Of wood, and sky, and mountain ministered 

Pure and perpetual gladness. Yet, through all 

Her voices manifold, he only heard 

The voice of Grod ; and, over all her realms, 

Outspread in splendour and in loveliness, 

He saw, in radiant signatures inscribed, 

One hierograph. The common ground to him 

"Was sacred, because trodden by the feet 

Of Him who stooped in human flesh to die 

A man for man's redemption. In his song 

He sought his inspiration from the touch 

Of altar-fire, and his philosophy 

Rose dripping out of Jordan. Nature's voice 

To him was not all gladness: he had been 

Within the shrine. His ear had caught the sound 



TO WORDSWORTH. 117 

Of that mysterious symphony wliich breathes 

Out of Creation's heart to mortal woe, — 

The uncler-tone in that undying wail 

Wherewith the human generations mourn 

Beneath the weight of evil. He had heard 

The deepest notes which from the sevenfold pipe 

Of Pan come to the spiritual ear, — 

The creature groaning, travailing in pain, 

As subject unto change, until the day 

Of its redemption from the curse of Sin. 

The time has been, when, listening to the high 
And rapt discourse of that grey-headed sage 
Thy Wanderer, who, in a low estate, 
Cherished a thoughtful spirit, and could muse 
In ripeness of experience on Man, 
And Xature, and the Course of Time, I have wished 
That some occasion of his roving life 
Had led his footsteps southward to the banks 
Of Ouse. There he had haply learned some truths, 
That seemed to have no place in his benign 
Philosophy, from the poor Cottager, 
Who drew her store of wisdom from one book, 
The only one she had, — the Book of God. 



118 THOUGHT ON A ROSE. 



THOUGHT ON A EOSE. 



Behold the marvellous structure of this Rose ! 
Full blown, immaculate, and in its firm 
Compactness an entire and odorous sphere. 
Withal so nicely fashioned that each leaf 
Is conscious of its individual being ; 
Each feels the soft wind breathing at its roots, 
The gentle sunshine stealing to its heart, 
And tingling in its smallest delicate vein 
As a pulse of gladness. Yet such sympathy 
Links leaf to leaf through all the little orb, 
That let but one be rent away and all 
Are instantly dissolved. The steadfast bond 
Of unity is broken by the wrong ; 
The fair and violated building crumbles 
Into a heap of leaves, one on another, 
Piled loosely like the uncemented stones 
Of an old temple. 

Thus doth Providence 
Image the problem of Society. 



IMAGINATION. 119 



IMAGINATION. 



Not seldom will the Sun, when westering slow, 
Turn his bright e) r e upon a fronting train 
Of clouds, and from the mists and falling rain 

Weave suddenly his broad and gorgeous bow. 

The stainless air puts on a purple glow, 
The beauteous secresies of light are plain, 
And from these stripes the swimming vapours gain 

More splendour than the orient skies can show. 

Such is Imagination, and the power 

Which peoples Nature with its glorious dreams, 

Which sprinkles everywhere its golden shower, 
And to the fine-eyed Poet, in what seems 

His vacant but his visionary hour, 

Tints every cloud with mild auroral gleams. 



120 THE VESPER HOUR. 



THE VESPER HOUR. 



Era gia l'ora, eke volge '1 disio 

A' naviganti, e intenerisce '1 cuore 

Lo di, ch'han detto a'dolci amici a Dio ; 

E eke lo nuovo peregrin d'aniore 
Punge, se ode squilla di lontano, 
Cke paia '1 giorno pianger, eke si muore. 

Dante, Purgat. Cant. viii. 

A rosy light the eastern sky is steeping, — 
The ripple on the sea has died away 

To a low murmur, — and the ships are sleeping- 
Each on its glassy shadow in the bay : 

The young Moon's golden shell over the hill 

Trembles with lustre, and the trees are still. 

The air grows clearer, and her amice blue 
The gentle Twilight hath about her cast, 

And from her silver urn she sprinkles dew : 
Silence and Sleep, twin sisters, follow fast 

Her soundless sandals, and where'er she goes 

Day-wearied Nature settles to repose. 



THE VESPER HOUR. 121 

Hark ! the clear bell from that tall convent-tower 
Hath sounded, — and, or e'er its echoes die, 

Another chime hath rung the vesper hour, — 
A farther and a fainter makes reply; 

Till far and near the soft appeal to prayer 

With music fills the undulating air. 

Ye sweet-voiced bells, ring on ! Though at your call 
I may not breathe in prayer a creature's name, 

Yet on my heart more touching memories fall, 
And ye remind me of a holier claim, — 

His, whose undrooping eye alone can keep 

Watch over His beloved as they sleep. 



122 MOONLIGHT. 



MOONLIGHT. 



How fair are now the heavenly places ! 

How lovely in their purity they are ! — 
The Moon is wandering up their azure spaces, 

Companioned by a single peerless star. 

The hills are still and clear ; the brightness 
Slants downward, tremulous, upon the trees ; 

One cloud, — a snowy island, — sees its whiteness 
Shining beneath it in the charmed seas. 

Beauty, sweet and spirit-thrilling ! 

Thy temple is the star-blue air of night ; 
Else why this trance of Nature, — this fulfilling 

Of tranquil thought, and mystery of delight ? 

A luminous element of gladness 

Now vaults our sphere of being, welkin- wise ; 
And should a thought there come akin to sadness, 

It cloud-like takes its colour from its skies. 



MOONLIGHT. 123 

As light doth fill the crystal chalice 

Of air, the Beautiful the soul cloth fill ; 
This is the spell that opens Nature's palace, 

And makes us free to wander where we will. 

Peace has her dwelling in the borders 

Of night, — all turbulence dies with the day ; 

Her eye has power to soothe the mind's disorders, 
And all its tides heave gentlier at her sway. 

that we could but keep and cherish 

Such thoughts as then assuage our inward strife ! 
But soon, how soon ! the fairest visions perish 

Before the stern realities of life. 

With the refining sense of Beauty 

Xo power to purify the heart is given, — 

This dwells apart with Faith, which hallows Duty, 
And treads Time's highway with its eye on Heaven. 



124 A NIGHT-RE YERIE. 



A NIGHT-KEVEKIE. 



The spirit of the starry hour 

Has traced the silent skies, — 
Upon the glimmering convent-tower 

The dreamy moonlight lies. 
A thin, blue haze of crystal air 

Is trembling on the sea ; 
And odorous blooms are faint whene'er 

The weak wind stirs the tree. 

It is the hour when Nature thrills 

The spirit to its core ; 
And all its chambers Fancy fills 

With golden hopes once more. 
And sad-eyed Memory singeth sweet 

The old and sacred lays, 
And mildly leads the world-worn feet 

To long untrodden ways. 



A NIGHT-REVERIE. 125 

By no imperious power pursued, 

To which we yield at last, 
But by a gentle impulse wooed, 

We wander through the past. 
The heart floats onward with the tide 

Of thought, — a willing thrall ; 
And shadowy forms at distance glide, 

And long-lost voices call. 

It mingles with the holy calm 

Of Nature ; rapt afar, 
It hears the everlasting psalm 

That star repeats to star. 
Withdrawn into profound retreats, 

The world no more we see, 
And only hear the pulse which beats 

Across Eternity. 



126 LINES TO A STAR. 



LINES TO A STAE. 



Bise, little star ! 
O'er the dusky hill, — 
See the bright course open 
Thou hast to fulfil. 

Climb, little star ! 
Higher still and higher, 
With a silent swiftness, 
And a pulse of fire. 

Stand, little star ! 
On the peak of Heaven ; 
But for one brief moment 
Is the triumph given. 

Sink, little star ! 
Yet make Heaven bright, 
Even while thou art sinking, 
With thy gentle light. 



LINES — ALEXANDER WEEPING. 127 

Set, little star ! 
Gladly fade and die, 
With the blush of morning 
Coming up the sky. 

Each little star 
Crieth, " Life, man ! 
Should have one clear purpose 
Shining round its span." 



LIXES— ALEXANDER "WEEPING. 



What ! no more worlds to conquer ? Weep no more,- 
Look inward, and thy heart will show thee one : 

Or doubly weep, thy folly to deplore, 
That this first conquest is not yet begun ! 



128 THE FLOWER AND OAK-SHOOT. 



THE FLOWEK AND OAK-SHOOT. 



i. 
The gentle winds of early May 

Were breathing through the wood, 
When, sauntering on my wonted way, 

In meditative mood, 
I saw a Flower which lifted up 
Beneath a bank its azure cup, 

New opened to the warm blue sky ; 
Its beauty touched me as I passed, 
I stood a while, and on it cast 

A calm, regardful eye. 

ii. 
Hard by, the twin leaves of a Plant 

Had cloven the dewy mould, — 
No charm of colour to enchant 

Had they, no grace to hold 
In mild arrest the passing foot, 
Which might have crushed the tender shoot, 



THE FLOWER AND OAK-SHOOT. 129 

Unconscious of its presence there ; 
So, with no further note, my gaze 
I fixed in mute admiring praise 

On its companion fair. 

in. 
The Flower then, vaunting of its bloom, 

Thus to its neighbour cried, — 
"And durst thou, sluggish herb, presume 

To flourish at my side ? 
'Tis but a week since I was sown 
By genial winds, and I have grown 

To perfect loveliness, while thou, 
Here lying all the winter through, 
These wretched leaves, with much ado, 

Hast barely opened now ! " 

IV. 

" Yes ! in a week thy beauty grew," 

The Plant thus made reply, 
"And in a week 'twill wither, too, 

And thou, vain upstart ! die. 
But I, in this mine infant hour, 
Painfully struggling with the power 

Of adverse elements, shall stand 
Stately and strong in after years, 
When thou, and all thy flaunting peers, 

Have vanished from the land. 



130 THE FLOWER AND OAK-SHOOT. 



" Faith in my native nobleness 

Sustains my fragile form, 
And keeps me hopeful in the stress 

Of rain, and wind, and storm, 
And why should st thou thy beauty praise, 
The fantasy of summer days ? — 

The sun will spoil it at a stroke ; 
But ages yet my course remains, 
And royal blood is in my veins, 

For am not I the Oak ? " 

VI. 

" Honour and reverence to thee ! " 

I cried in ardent mood, 
" True scion of the royalty 

Of the umbrageous wood ! 
The rule of all patrician trees 
Is thine ; thy lofty destinies 

Nerve thee in this thy tender time ; 
And ministries of wind and air 
Shall discipline thy youth to wear 

The glories of thy prime ! 

VII. 

" A thousand summers thou wilt raise 
Aloft thy placid state ; 



THE FLOWER AND OAK-SHOOT. 131 

And on thee, in thy latest (lays, 

Shall admiration wait. 
In peace thou wilt uplift afar 
The banner of the land ; in war 

The bearer of her thunders be, — 
And as thou didst command the wood, 
Then, with thy primal strength renewed, 

Thou wilt command the sea ! " 



132 THE PETREL. 



THE PETREL. 



" Are ye not much better than they ? "—St Matthew vi. 26. 

Far out at sea, and slowly borne 
To lands beneath a southern sky, 
A vision came of years gone by, 

And thoughts that haunt a heart forlorn. 

As if my life had been a dream, 

And I, w T ith aimless course and blank, 
A weak weed, loosened from the bank, 

And idly drifting down the stream. 

As if there was no loving eye 

To guide my feet, and watch my ways, 
And I, chance-wandering through a maze, 

Might unregarded live and die. 

Behind me, I could only mark 

The hopes and pleasures I had lost ; 
Before me, like an unknown coast, 

The Future loomed through vapours dark. 



THE PETREL. 133 

A troubled mood not free from sin, 
A murmuring at the will of God, 
A voice that cried against the rod 

From an unhumbled heart within. 

But so I mused, when near the ship 
It chanced a lonely sea-bird flew, — 
Low-hovering o'er the waters blue 

It curved with frequent downward dip. 

Long time I watched its wavering flight, — 
Hither and thither o'er the sea 
It skimmed, as if each movement free 

Followed an impulse of delight. 

No other living thing did move 

In that wide circle's desert bound, — 
The bleak sea heaving all around, 

The dim dome arching vague above. 

And then I thought,—" That little bird 
Hath its loved haunt at close of day, 
In some green island far away, 

Or rock or reef which breakers gird. 

" And not unguided doth it roam, — 
One eye its every wandering knows ; 
And in its heart an instinct glows 

That guides it to its distant home. 



134 THE PETREL. 

" It hath no skill to sow nor reap, 
Yet for its daily want He cares, 
And its convenient food * prepares 

In the salt furrows of the deep. 

"And wherefore doubt, fearful heart! 
As if, through all thy wanderings wide, 
He will not be thy faithful guide, 

And act a loving father's part ? 

" Set not thy will with His at strife, — 
The water of the bitterest cup 
May be a fountain springing up 

Hereafter to eternal life/' 

I heard the mild admonishment, 
The echo of that voice of power 
Which on the Mount made every flower 

And bird a preacher of Content. 

And straightway the remembrance bred 
Within me hope and holy trust, — 
My spirit rose out of the dust, 

And worshipped, and was comforted. 

* "Feed me with food convenient for me."— Proverbs XXX. 8. 



SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. 133 



SEQUEL TO THE FOEEGOIXG. 



" The stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the 
turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of 
their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the 
Lord." — Jeremiah viii. 7. 



Yet, Lord, what is it but Thy grace, 
Enclosing us in its bright round, 
Which tells us men that we have found 

In Thy regard a higher place 

Than creatures of the air which wait, 
In meek and simple quietness, 
Upon Thy will, and ne'er transgress 

The limits of their ancient state. 

They never strain the genial band 

Which round about them Thou hast cast,- 
They keep an even course, and fast 

Within their several orders stand. 



136 SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. 

Sin has not stung them with despair, — 
They breathe a free and painless breath ; 
Nor on their joy have fears of death 

Shut down a rigid weight of care. 

Fair Nature has no chilling glooms 
For them, — the wards of Providence, 
They wander on without offence, 

And sing through all their Father's rooms. 

The gentle guidance of Thy will, 

Within their measure, is their choice ; 
And they are glad, — for they rejoice 

Its light conditions to fulfil. 

Wooed by the ruffling airs of Spring, 
The stork forsakes her Syrian clime, 
And, true to her appointed time, 

Cleaves the blue air with nimble wing, 

To lands where Gothic minsters tear 
With spears of stone the trailing cloud, 
And marble statues o'er the crowd 

Look steadfast in the sultry square. 

There, spring by spring, she harbour finds 
In fretted niche, or moulding quaint; 
Or, at the feet of sculptured saint, 

Is shielded from the shifting winds. 



SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. 137 

Thus, ever in the season sweet 

Of blowing flowers and budding leaves, 
The swallow twitters from the eaves, 

Or skims the sunny village street. 

And troops of cranes in serried ranks 

Move creaking on across the sky, 

And long arrest the peasant's eye 
Upon some river's viny banks. 

All come and go at Thy command, 

They find it joy enough to wait, 

Tn their low station, at Thy gate, 
For the dumb signals of Thy hand. 

But we, who, placed beneath the sway 
Of Conscience, can discern both good 
And evil, — in whose richer blood 

Immortal spirit beats alway, — 

Whose being wears the golden crown 
Of Reason, and whose free-born mind 
Was made its perfectness to find 

In perfect concord with Thine own, — 

Are in revolt against Thy law, 

And overstep its sacred bar, 

And from our Father's house afar 
In wicked pride of heart withdraw. 



138 SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. 

We men, so far above them set, 

Consume our years in fruitless toils, 
And fret and struggle in the coils 

Of vain desire as in a net. 

And what but Love has watched our course, 
And out of blessings forged a chain 
To win us back to Thee again, 

With tender and prevailing force ? — 

Which, with strong arms around us cast, 
Would lead us higher than before, 
That we may love Thee more and more, 

And hold Thy good commandments fast ; — 

Which gives us, in its heavenly might, 
Strength to endeavour and endure, 
After Thy pureness makes us pure, 

Enlightens us with Thy great light, — 

And in Thy freedom makes us free, — 
That we may walk erect within 
Thy conscious presence, and begin 

To find our endless rest in Thee. 



TIMOLEOX. 139 



TIMOLEON. 

A GEEEK STORY OF PROVIDENCE. 
(FROM PLUTARCH.) 



The moon on Corinth's temple shone, 

"When from the bay, Timoleon, 

Thy galleys with a favouring breeze 

Bore out into the silent seas. 

From mole and rampart rose the prayer 

That Heaven upon your course might smile, 
Tor Freedom is the boon you bear 

To Sicily's fair ravaged isle. 



The people watch the ships, and tell 

The omen which of late befell : 

How when, within the Delphic shrine, 

He prayed for some auspicious sign, 

A sacred wreath, — some conqueror's crown, 

The pledge of an accomplished vow, — 
From the high temple-roof fell down. 

And rested on Timoleon's brow. 



140 TIMOLEON. 

" And thus," they cry, "Apollo leads 
Our captain crowned to lofty deeds ; 
He leads him on, and sends the gale 
That murmurs softly in the sail." 
They said, and sudden through the sky 

A pale, unearthly radiance streamed,- 
A mystic light, to every eye, 

Upon the foremost galley gleamed. 



It narrowed to a steadier glare, 
Then, meteor-like, it clove the air, — 
Clear as the torch the vested priest 
Waves in Eleusis at the feast. 
Before the ship it glided bright, 

The ship behind it followed free ; — 
Heaven hung that cresset on the night 

To guide their path across the sea. 



They saw it, and their hearts w^ere cheered, 
And by the luminous sign they steered, — 
Till, ranked on the Sicilian strand, 
They shouted freedom o'er the land. 
The people rose in strength sublime, 

In fragments fell the oppressor's chain ; 
The glories of the ancient time 

Revived for Sicily again. 



TIMOLEON. 1-41 

Her children blessed Timoleon's name, 

City to city spoke his fame : 

The golden fruits of his success 

He reaped in joy and quietness. 

Yet vows of deadly hate were breathed 

Against the great deliverer's life, 
And Tyranny her falchion sheathed 

To grasp by stealth the assassin's knife. 



In Etna's shadow lies a town 
Where stood a temple of renown, — 
The ground was holy, every tree 
Was clothed round with sanctity. 
Here, after war, Timoleon dwelt ; 

Here, with a simple heart and pure, 
He laid aside his state, and felt 

The freedom of a mind secure. 



Unarmed, ungirt with guards, he moved 
Among the people whom he loved ; 
Serene in Virtue's generous trust, 
He bared his breast to Treason's thrust : 
For power in Innocence abides 

To bear it on through snares unharmed, 
And the firm soul that Conscience guides 

With mail of proof is always armed. 



142 TDiOLEON. 

Hired to do a deed of shame, 
Two strangers to the city came ; 
A festival is near, — a time 
That yields occasion for the crime ; 
Timoleon to the temple goes, 

By sacrifice his vows to pay, 
And, in the solemn rite, his foes 

Their nobler victim swear to slay. 



Slow-stepping o'er the sacred ground, 
The victim comes with garlands crowned, 
The white-robed boys the hymn begin, 
Pipe, flute, and cymbal chiming in. 
They sing of Providence that guards 

The good by secret-working power, 
And righteous doom to guilt awards 

When strikes the inevitable hour. 



And they were there, — the hymn they heard, 
Yet no relenting thoughts were stirred, — 
They brace their hearts to hardy guilt, 
Their hands are on the poniard's hilt. 
Slow through the crowd, in crafty guise, 

They wind like vipers through the grass, — 
Their bloody thoughts watch from their eyes, 

And silent signs between them pass. 



TIMOLEOX. 143 

Behind him now, a longer breath 
They draw against the act of death, — 
One moment, and a caitiff's knife 
Makes havoc of a noble life, 
When, swift as light, an arm concealed 

Has cloven the one with ghastly wound, — 
Hard by Timoleon's feet he reeled, 

And sank in death upon the ground. 



A shout of horror, angry cries 
Of vengeance, from the crowd arise, — 
While from the temple, with the red 
And reeking sword, the avenger fled 
Toward a neighbouring rocky height : 

The fellow-ruffian from his place 
Rushed to the altar, pale with fright, 

And clasped its ledge, and sued for grace. 



" But spare my life," the churl besought, 
" And I will open all the plot." 
The promise given : " This man," he said, 
" Who here before you lieth dead, 
Had joined me in a wicked vow 

Timoleon's blood this day to spill. 
What hand has dealt the avenging blow 

I know not, — Heaven has done its will ! ' 



144 TIMOLEOX. 

Loud shouts are heard, — a gathering sound 

Proclaims the fugitive is found* 

The crowd comes thronging through the door,- 

The bloody weapon borne before, — 

And round by armed men beset, 

A youth comes on with tranquil pace ; 
He sees his victim at his feet, 

But not a change is on his face. 



Timoleon waves his hand, and stills 
The tumult that the temple fills, — 
All stand as in the hush of death. 
" Now, in the eye of Heaven," he saith, 
" And over this pale corse, declare 

Why he was slaughtered where he stood ; 
Look on him, as he lieth there, — 

Make answer to the cry of blood ! " 



" I hear the cry, and shall reveal 

That which will stifle its appeal. 

Listen and ponder, every one, 

What by my hand just Heaven hath done. 

Against the wretch, whose life I spilt, 

More righteous blood has long complained ; 
His soul was black with damning guilt, 

His hands my father's murder stained. 



TIMOLEOX. 145 

" No grace was shown to hoary hairs, 

That heart was steeled against his prayers, — 

Leontium of his crime still keeps 

The record. Long I tracked his steps, 

And long my restless hopes were crushed ; 

But here, when first I saw him stand, 
The image of my father rushed 

Upon my heart, and nerved my hand ! " 



Some voices cried, " We know the youth, 
And vouch that what he tells is truth/' 
Timoleon heard him, and approved, 
And deeply was his spirit moved : 
Heaven's secret work he saw revealed, 

That Providence which sets the time, — 
And guides the hand to turn its shield 

On Virtue, and its sword on Crime. 



Deep is the judgment which conceals 
The movement of its mystic wheels, 
But Wisdom guides them in their grooves, 
And the same spirit in them moves. 
The far-connecting links are dim, 

Unseen the fine- vibrating springs, 
But the high end is praise to Him 

Whose finger shaped the dreadful rings. 



146 STRATONICE. 



STEATONICE. 



Shrill the trumpet blew at evening underneath the 

castle-wall, 
Forth on the lofty rampart came a lady at the call ; 
She was fair and very stately, jewels glittered on her 

brow, 
And she looked with anxious glances on the armed 

host below ; 
On the laurelled arms and eagles, which had caught 

the slanting gleam, 
And the close blue spears of warriors winding far-off 

like a stream. 
In the van rode the proud Consul, his short falchion 

by his knee, 
And he looked up to the rampart with a graceful 

courtesy : 
" We have fought a bloody battle, and the king, thy 

lord, is fled, — 
On his track are many foemen for the price upon his 

head!" 



STRATONICE. 147 

She heard out the dismal tidings, but she answered 

not a word, 
Though her long dark eyelash quivered at the mention 

of her lord. 
Then she thought of days departed, and her father old 

and lone, 
For she was a minstrel's daughter, and a lowly lot had 

known ; 
Through the fair Ionian hamlets his companion she 

had been, 
Till she sang before the monarch, and he took her for 

his queen. 
But far happier was the minstrel than the prince's 

jewelled bride, 
And she felt in that sad moment all the emptiness of 

pride. 
To her lips the draught of pleasure she had never 

lifted up, 
Had she known there lurked such poison at the bottom 

of the cup. 



148 ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 



ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 



Oft, Aquileia ! from thy towers 

Hast thou beheld the foe 
Around thy ramparts close his powers, 

And bid his clarions blow ; 
But ne'er did fiercer foes advance 
Against thee, nor a direr chance 

Thy chequered fortunes e'er befall, 
Than when the swarming Orient hordes 
Of Attila unsheathed their swords 

Around thy leaguered wall. 

Yet high thine ancient courage swelled 

In danger's evil day, — 
Long thine undaunted burghers quelled 

The pride of that array ; 
And oft in battle's stormy shock, 
Like waves recoiling from the rock, 

Their legions from thy gates were driven; 
For aye when Freedom sounds alarm, 
The strength that nerves the patriot's arm 

Is strength supplied by Heaven. 



ATTILA AT AQUILF.IA. 149 

But Famine came and Plague behiml, 

Those old and sworn allies, 
And many a child and mother pined 

Before the father's eyes ; 
Still, starting to the trumpet's call, 
The ready burghers thronged the wall ; 

In their heroic manhood mailed, 
Along the battlements they stand, 
With hollow eye and shrunken hand, 

But heart that never quailed. 



And now the third autumnal moon 

Shone sickly in its wane, 
Since first his tents the haughty Hun 

Had pitched upon the plain : 
His soaring hopes are sunken low, 
And quenched his valour's earlier glow, 

Which kindled at the clash of lance ; 
And many a voice is quick to blame 
The leader who has staked his fame 

Upon a desperate chance. 



What fierce tumultuous struggle now 
Convulsed that chieftain's soul ! 

The shame upon his swarthy brow 
Glowed crimson as a coal ; 



] 50 ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 

No sleep refreshed his spirit, till 
He bowed the iron of his will, 

And bade his soldiers, when the sound 
Of trump was heard at break of day, 
Strike tents and march in war-array 

From that ill-omened ground. 

The westering sun more softly glowed 

Through skies of tender blue, 
When forth the gloomy chieftain rode 

To take a farewell view 
Of walls so long assailed in vain ; 
His bravest captains in his train 

Eode sharing in their prince's grief, 
The camp was silent as they passed, 
And from their tents the warriors cast 

Sad glances on their chief. 

The mournful company rode on, 

Struck dumb by adverse fate, 
Until they reached a bastion 

That flanked a postern-gate. 
Here, on a mossy ledge that round 
The buttress ran, a stork had found 

Fit station for her yearly nest, — 
Safe in the graceful faith that stirred 
All hearts to love the trustful bird 

As man's peculiar guest. 



ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 151 

It seemed as if some sudden thought, 

On that fair eve, had come 
Into her heart to leave the spot 

Long chosen for her home, 
Through those calm, lucid skies to steer 
In quest of some serener sphere ; 

She soared aloft with plaintive cry, — 
Her nestlings followed at her scream, 
And soon all faded like a dream 

Far up the sunbright sky. 



The chieftain, pausing, watched their flight, 

" Behold, ye Huns ! " he cried, 
His dark eye flashing with the light 

Of its imperious pride ; 
" Behold the omen Heaven has sent 
To shame our cowardly intent : 

The stork, so faithful to her home, 
At last forsakes it, for some power 
Divine hath warned her that its hour 

Of overthrow hath come ! " 



The captains caught their leader's fire, 
As they had shared his shame, 

From heart to heart leaps ever higher 
The quick contagious flame ; 



152 ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 

From tent to tent the tidings glance, 
And every warrior grasps his lance, 

And shouts, " Unto the walls again ! 
Our ancient honour, tarnished long, 
Appeals for vengeance of the wrong, 

And cleansing from the stain ! " 

At early dawn, when o'er the hill 

The first light faintly blushed, 
The clarion shrieked alarum shrill, 

And forth their squadrons rushed 
Toward that fated bastion, 
From which the boding bird had flown. 

That parting scream still seems to sound, — 
The voice of doom, from Heaven it falls : 
" The way through these devoted walls 

Must here, ye Huns ! be found." 

Nor flinched the burghers, tried so long, 

In this disastrous hour, — 
Through blank and grassy streets they throng 

To man the leaguered tower. 
For altar and for hearth they stood, 
Pledged each to shed his patriot blood ; 

And well did each redeem the pledge, 
Till, in the furious surge that breaks 
Upon its base, the bastion shakes 

Beneath the ominous ledge. 



ATTILA AT AQUILEIA. 153 

The stones are loosened in its side, 

The smoke obscures the sun, 
And ragged portals open wide, — 

The breach is stormed and won. 
Down from the steep the foemen poured, 
And each barbarian's bloody sword 

Took vengeance fearfully and well, 
Until the last of that brave band 
Died, wound in front, and sword in hand ; — 

Thus Aquileia fell ! 



154 MOHAMMED AT DAMASCUS. 



MOHAMMED AT DAMASCUS. 



" The district of Damascus is the best watered and most pleasant 
of all Syria. The Arabs term it one of the four paradises of 
the East, and relate that Mohammed, as he viewed from an 
eminence the splendour of the city of which he wished to take 
possession, hesitated to enter it, because he knew that man 
can enjoy only one paradise, and he had resolved that his 
should not be in the earth. The three other paradises are 
the valley of Bawan, the river Obollah, and Sogd, near 
Samarcand." — Rosexmuller, — Geography of Central Asia. 



On the hill above Damascus stands the prophet, and 

looks down 
On the blooming groves and gardens that embower the 

pleasant town. 

Level on each tower and temple lies the mellow even- 
ing light,— 

Brazen domes and marble columns, tipped with crosses, 
flashing bright. 



MOHAMMED AT DAMASCUS. 1 55 

Mingling chimes float softly upwards through the air 

in cadence sweet; 
On the ear the city voices in one hollow murmur beat. 

Xear him stand his turbaned Moslems, each with 

scymitar and lance, 
Raised to rush upon the city when the prophet signs 

advance. 

All's foam-flecked horse snorts loudly, champs the bit, 

and curves his ear; 
And his master cries — " prophet ! wherefore stand 

we gazing here? 

" Allah, of a truth, abandons this fair town into our 

hands ; 
" And for us its fame and glory have gone forth through 

all the lands. 

" Every sword but waits thy signal, and as soon as it 

is given, 
" Islam holds the loveliest city on which laughs the 

light of Heaven V 

•' ; Nay, my son!" the prophet answered, "had He 

willed we should go there, 
" Never to his children's glances would the place have 

seemed so fair. 



156 MOHAMMED AT DAMASCUS. 

" He hath said that for His chosen blooms no paradise 

but one, — 
" In a sphere beyond the courses of our earthly stars 

and sun. 

" Unto those who look no higher may these happy 

seats be given ; 
" But let all the faithful people seek their heritage in 

Heaven ! " 



THE PRINCE AND THE WIDOW. 151 



THE PBINCE AND THE WIDOW. 



Do some justice unto Islam, though the prophet you 

disown, 
There are truths even in the Koran, like the fossils in 

the stone. 
In the old Arabian legends there may still be clearly 

seen 
Praise of virtue, sense of honour, often delicate and 

keen. 
Many a Cadi has unravelled, with a subtil glance of 

wit, 
The most tangled skein of falsehood which a perjurer 

could knit ; 
Often has the Moollah stood in for the weak against 

the strong, — 
The Avcrter of the evil, or Avenger of the wrong ; 
There has often been true dealing in the Oriental gate, 
Which some ermined Christian judges might do well 

to imitate ; 



158 THE PRINCE AND THE WIDOW. 

There the balance has been steady, there the sword has 

had an edge, 
And the Vizier feared the Dervish who sate begging 

by his hedge. 

When the Cross in Spain was broken, and the Moors 

her sceptre swayed, 
In his royal town a Caliph a fair stately palace made ; 
Pleasant was the wide-arched mansion, with its quaintly- 
figured walls, 
And the silver-sprinkling fountains in its marble-paven 

halls. 
Arabesques rilled every chamber with a wild fantastic 

grace, 
And the Koran's golden cyphers made a mystery of 

the place ; 
Rich the tracery of each lattice, carven sharp with 

master-craft, 
And the mouldings wrought like lace-work on each tall 

and slender shaft. 
Sudden glimpses of trees waving, with a freshness to 

the eye, 
Came through pillared courts all open to the soft blue 

summer sky ; 
And around it were sweet gardens, sunny clumps of 

scented bloom, 
Dusky umbrage-shadowing alleys, with a cool delicious 

gloom. 



THE PRIXCE AND THE WIDOW. 1j9 

Near the palace a poor Widow had a small paternal 

field, 
Where the Prince a fair pavilion for his pleasure wished 

to build, — 
Only this one charm was wanting to complete it to his 

heart, — 
But no bribe could tempt the widow with her little 

plot to part. 
Wearied with his vain entreaties, he at last put forth 

his hand, 
And raised up his dome of pleasure on the violated 

land. 
Weak and friendless was the widow, — her oppressor 

proud and strong, — 
But she went before the Cadi, and bore witness to the 

wrong. 
On a day the Prince was walking in the garden planted 

there, 
With a joyous heart beholding his pavilion shining 

fair, 
The old Cadi then came kneeling, and implored, in 

lowly mood, 
Leave to fill a sack beside him from the soil on which 

they stood. 
It was granted, and he filled it ; then the old man, 

turning round, 
Asked the Caliph to assist him while he raised it from 

the ground. 



160 THE PRINCE AND THE WIDOW. 

Smiled the Prince at the entreaty, thinking all was 

done in mirth, 
Raised the sack, but dropped full quickly his strange 

burden to the earth. 
" It is heavy," said the Cadi, " and thou canst not bear 

the weight ; 
" Yet, 'tis but a little portion of the widow's whole 

estate. 
" Side by side with that poor widow must thou stand, 

at Allah's bar ; 
" And in that majestic presence, prince and beggar 

equal are. 
" And if thou, Prince ! art burdened with a load of 

earth so small, 
" What wilt thou then answer Allah, when he charges 

thee with all?" 

The sharp arrow reached his conscience, and atoning 

for his guilt, 
Like a king, he gave the widow the pavilion he had 

built. 



BAALBEK. 101 



BAALBEK. 



Upon the lowest slope of that steep ridge 

Which strides across all Syria, and confronts 

The stately length of Lebanon, where the gorge 

Of a deep valley opens on the plain, 

A city stands, built in the ancient time 

By Solomon. The wandering Arab tells 

How crowds of workmen startled the dull waste 

"With clamour, and the sound of axes rung 

Far on the wind, as temple, wall, and tower 

Rose, not without unearthly help, compelled 

By vigil and relentless talisman, 

Till all was ended, and the snowy gleam 

Of marble brightened the grey wilderness. 

Into its wealthy marts the East long poured 
Her frankincense, and gold, and ivory, 
And sweet crassated gums. Here haughty Borne 
Sank vanquished on his captive's breast, and slept 
Away his manhood in voluptuous dreams. 
Long strings of loaded camels slowly passed 



162 BAALBEK. 

Along the encumbered ways. At these choked wells 

The dusky Indian and the blue-eyed Graul 

Knelt side by side and drank. And pilgrims came 

From the far shadow of the Pyramids 

To worship here, and pass with dazzled eyes 

Through pillared vestibules within the fane 

Which hallowed the fair City of the Sun ! 

As like a glittering vision it arose, 
And beautified the solitary place, 
Like one it faded. Thus upon the blue 
And tingling desert-haze, the wanderer sees 
Dome, battlement, and golden temple tall, 
The phantasm of a shining city, flush, 
And as he gazes vanish. 

The wide courts 
Echo no voice nor footfall; the wild wind, 
That ruin-haunting minstrel, sobs and wails 
Upon his fitful pipe. No more at morn 
The millstone cheerily murmurs, nor at eve, 
While the rich saffron light of sunset ebbs, 
And stars assemble up the rosy air, 
Are lamps seen twinkling through the lattices. 

In the white light the pillars cast their slant, 
Fantastic shadows, chequered as they lean, 
Or lie upreared in precious wreck along 
The parching soil. The small acanthus twines 
Around its chiselled foliage on the crown 



BAALBEK. 1G3 

i Of fluted columns. The dry wind-sown weed 
Hath split the morticed friezes, that still cut 
The blue air with their sharp and delicate edge, 
And on the triglyph, fallen in the shade, 
The oleander sheds its crimson flowers. 

Time his pale daughter Silence, by the hand, 
Hath led into the shrine. In the dim light, 
That through a crevice flecks the deep recess, 
You see the virgin on a pedestal 
Unmoving sit, her veil half o'er her brow, 
Still gazing outwards with a listless eye, 
And pressing one thin finger on her lip. 

Isis, and Horus ! honoured long 
In antique Memphis, where the Nile flows dark 
Under the temples, and in after time 
Here worshipped, whither are ye fled? Within 
These roofless courts, whose carven niches stand 
So richly fretted by immortal Art, 
But vacant of their gods, we yet may trace 
Your monogram engraven in porphyry 
Or bronze, — the winged orb, clasped in the coils 
Of serpents. But the symbol lias outlived 
The faith. A cypher to the elder world, 
With deepest mystery fraught, — an awful sign, 
That shadowed the eternal, — it remains, 
When the old faith has mouldered whence it sprung, 
A link between the dead world and our own, — 



164 BAALBEK. 

A fragment washed upon the beach of Time 
From the great shipwreck of a foundered creed. 

And yet the pulse of life still feebly beats 
Under the shroud of Death, — a low small sound 
That stirs him not, but murmurs in his ear, 
And soothes it with the memory of the pride 
Which he hath so abased. These tottering mosques, 
With their low domes and slender minarets, 
From which the old Muezzin shrilly calls 
To prayer, — these huts of dark-red stone, 
Built like the swallow's nest in shady nooks 
Round palaces and temples, — and the voice 
Of women drawing water at the well, 
Still speak of life, but empty and forlorn, — 
Such life as makes decay more desolate. 
Less sad it is to view these lonely forms 
And relics of the Past, when nought recalls 
Man's presence to the mind, when all is still 
As in a city of the dead. Go forth, 
And stand within its porches when the heat 
Of sultry noon has burned the languid wind 
Out of the air, and as you look upon 
The beauty and magnificence of old, 
Silence will take unto itself a voice. 
The lizard rustling in the stones, the unseen 
Cicala chirping shrill, the small green snake 
That basks upon the sand, or glances quick 



BAALBEK. 1G5 

From some cool chink beneath a levelled shaft, — 
Each sound and sight of Nature, and the life 
Its little generations lead amidst 
The buried pride of man, move the deep heart 
To sadness, charged with monitory thought. 
We listen to the voice which tells in tones, 
Pensive yet not unpleasing, of the course 
Of Life and Death, Corruption and Decay, — 
The inevitable necessity and law 
'Which binds all things that live and are beneath 
The circuit of the stars. 

And such may seem 
The burden of the lisping river that winds 
Among the mounds of ruin, and still steeps 
The roots of odorous thickets on its banks, 
And golden-fruited trees. High over head, 
Above the dark umbrageous walnut-trees 
That gird the far-seen city as a hedge, 
The temple, like a glorious dream, upspires 
Into the lucid air. A tender charm 
Invests its lofty station, as apart, 
And high uplifted o'er the abodes of men, 
It stands serene, and bright, and beautiful, 
As Faith stands over Time. It wears decay 
As its familiar garb, and not without 
A mild, redeeming loveliness, which leads 
The mind into the track of thoughts that rise 
To Heaven, and that ethereal Temple built 



166 



BAALBEK. 



Of light immaculate, whose radiant walls 

The unwinding cycles shake not, — whose clear vault 

No vapours breathed from earthly turbulence, 

No shadow, of a restless spirit born, 

Nor fleeting mist, can stain. 

Around is waste, 
And change, and vanity, — the things above 
Endure, and are perpetual. The same sun 
Shines on these marble architraves, the stars 
Look down as brightly on these shrunken heaps 
As when they stood erect. Still, as before, 
Through these aerial pillars gleams the blue 
And liquid sky, and the pale glistening snows 
That plume the towering crest of Lebanon. 



THE RUINED CHAPEL. 1G7 



THE KUIXED CHAPEL. 

NOSSA SENHOBA DA ESPERANCA. 

The same hills stand around it, and it lends 
A beauty to the spot it graced of yore ; 

The old winds haunt it still ; each season bends 
The light and shadow round it as before ; 

But Time hath swathed it in his garb of grey ; 

It feels the load of years, and slowly wastes away. 

How many suns have gone up that fair sky, 

Since first its builders reared it, stone by stone ! 

How oft has Midnight, with her star-blue eye, 
Beheld it in the valley dim and lone ! 

Age has erased its date, and it appears 

To grey-haired men the same as in their childish years. 

Yet what they heard in childhood still they tell : 
How in the ancient time a shepherd found 

An image of the Virgin, by a well 

That gushed within the enclosure of this ground ; 

And how to mystic auguries this gave scope, 

Until a chapel rose,—- Our Lady's Shrine of Hope. 



1-68 THE RUINED CHAPEL. 

Then rung the small bell at the dawn of day, 
And duly as the waning light was pale 

Upon the peaks, its chimes were borne away 
In mellowing cadences far up the vale : 

The goatherd heard it on the uplands bare, 

And crossed his swarthy brow, and said his evening 
prayer. 

And down these mountain paths, when Sabbath rest 
Was on the valleys, worshippers were seen 

Trooping obedient to the mild behest ; 

Or on the ways that wind through chestnuts green. 

! if with erring rites they bent the knee, 

Be theirs the guilt who sealed the Word that should be 
free. 

But Time's bell rung a dirge, and now has ceased 
The solemn chant, — the sweet aerial hymn ; 

Fallen is the altar where the vested priest, 

While lights through odorous smoke were glimmer- 
ing dim, 

To act the dread Atonement fondly strove, 

As if the Cross were vain, and Calvary's bleeding Love! 

The wild weeds rustle on the arches tall, 

The wind-sown grass springs rank upon the floor, 

The gadding bramble muffles court and wall, 
And nets its thorny curtain in the door, 



THE RUINED CHAPEL. 



1G9 



And moss-stained stones, sunk deep into the mould, 
Have here, since first they fell, had leisure to grow old. 

Yet, ancient pile ! the elements that waste 
Deal gently, for they soften and atone, — 

A milder beauty they have round thee cast, — 
With richer tints have crusted every stone : 

It is a silent power that Time employs, 

Which veils his certain end, and decks what he destroys. 

Therefore thou enviest not the leafy trees 

Nor the old hills, which, with a steadfast eye, 

Confront Time's lifted scythe through centuries, 
Knowing that when they perish, he must die : 

Since out of this slow waste a pensive grace 

Has grown, which beautifies this solitary place. 

For all Decay tends ever towards peace ; 

Deep at its heart lives Silence, and the rest 
Which Nature by continual ministries 

Breathes to us out of her maternal breast ; 
And here the same sweet influence soothes and thrills 
My spirit, as among the lonely woods and hills. 

The white-towered city far below me lies, 

Beyond it spreads the calm, blue Libyan Sea ; 

And on the furthest limit of the skies, 
A long, low, purple cloud hangs hazily, 

M 



170 THE RUINED CHAPEL. 



That seems, thus dim with light, a summer isle, 

For which Heaven's festive face doth ever keep a smile 

But when on all earth's glory will there be 
A consecration ? when will promised days 

With temple-light illumine land and sea ? 

Even here, as through the future time I gaze, 

A hopeful omen rises in my heart, 

A vision cheers the way by which I now depart. 

Decaying as thou art, thou may'st still stand 

To hear the sound of Christian psalms once more, 

To see a purer faith exalt the land, 
A holier ministration than before; 

Thus, by a blessing to thy youth denied, 

Thy latest age may be serenely glorified. 



. 



LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT. 171 



LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT. 



How oft from this small casement high, 

When chanted was the vesper-psalm, 
The lonely monk has raised his eye 

Toward that heaven so pure and calm, 
And watched the moonlight showering pale 

Upon the church and trees below, 
And heard the soft and wandering wail 

Of waters in perpetual flow ! 



One looked, but sight so beautiful 

Awoke no answering thrill in him ; 
And, with a heart benumbed and dull, 

He saw as if his eye was dim. 
No charm to him, no solemn sound, 

Had waves, or winds, or clouds, or stars, — 
His range of thought the cloister bound, 

And in his soul he wore its bars. 



172 LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT. 

Perchance, some mind of finer mould 

Has gazed up that clear, starry air, 
And seen the golden gates unfold, 

And wings of angels waving fair, — 
In trance beheld the Virgin nigh, 

Heard voices sweet and heavenly sounds,- 
"While, smiling on his votary, 

St Francis showed his mystic wounds. 



One, with a heart of pensive power, 

Once scathed by Passion's fiery glow, 
May here have stood, and blessed the hour 

His lips pronounced the awful vow. 
Prom Envy, Pride, and Care, release 

He may have found in cloistered walls, 
And felt, or fancied, his a peace 

That flies from Pleasure's gilded halls. 



How many felt, in darker mood, 

The sting of some unholy thirst ; 
And, with a madness in the blood, 

The irrevocable error cursed, 
That forced them from the world afar, 

But bound them to a worse control, 
As if the cord * and scapular 

Could charm the fiends that vex the soul ! 

* The cord is the distinguishing badge of the Order of St Frances. 



LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT. 173 

Their minds roamed saddening through the past 

To youth, with Hope's bright fancies flushed, 
Ere clouds the prospect overcast, 

Ere Care the opening blossom crushed ; 
Then weary days and nights forlorn, 

The struggling mind, the sickening heart, 
Till, in the wasting strife outworn, 

All earthly ties they tore apart. 



They sought the fenced, the holy ground, — 

Behind them died the world's vain din, — 
But soon, alas ! too soon, they found 

That they had brought the world within. 
Out from its haunts they freely passed, 

And thus they hoped its power to foil ; 
Out of the heart the world to cast, — 

This was the duty, this the toil. 



So Jerome through the streets of Rome 

Could wander with an alien eye, 
Amidst its splendour seek no home, 

And smile at all its luxury ; 
But in the wilds, the singing bird 

Brought back Home's voice on every wind, 
And every leaf, that idly stirred, 

The thought of friends left far behind. 



174 LINES WRITTEN IN A FRANCISCAN CONVENT. 

Some died in hoary age, some young, 

Their hearts grief-cankered at the core, — 
And bells were rung, and psalms were sung, 

When opened was the chancel floor ; 
They moulder there, that ghastly band, — 

Their shadows glimmer through the gloom, - 
While I, a stranger in the land, 

Muse mournfully above their tomb. 



THE JARDIM DE SERRA. 17<3 



THE JAEDIM DE SERRA: 
(the garden of the mountains.) 



Sweet fold of the mountains ! when first from the 

height, 
I saw thy deep forests all flooded with light, 
So bright and so sudden thy loveliness smiled 
That it seemed by enchantment to bloom in the wild. 

Thy clouds of soft umbrage lay witchingly fair 
In the clear mellow depth of that crystalline air ; 
And through trees interlacing stretched many a glade, 
Where the sunlight fell chequered by masses of shade. 

From the rich flush of garden and woodland, the eye 

Eoamed up to blue ridges cut sharp in the sky, 

And a brook flowed deep-sunken through thickets of 

green, 
With a murmur that pensively blent with the scene. 

I lingered till sunset bathed all in its glow, 
And the soft-stealing shadow crept up from below, 
And a lone bird was warbling its liquid farewell, 
As the star of the gloaming rose over the dell. 



176 THE JARDIM DE SERRA. 

When far from thee, fair valley ! I oft shall retrace 
The scenes which no time from the heart can efface, 
And Memory will love, though I see thee no more, 
Te revive the sweet vision that charmed me before. 

Yet not amidst grandeur and peace, such as thine, 
Would I dream that true happiness e'er could be mine, — 
Not here, could the choice on myself be bestowed, 
Not in Earth's fairest spot, would I fix my abode. 

The grace and the beauty which round him may smile 
The heart of the pilgrim may sometimes beguile, — 
He may linger a moment, and say it is fair, 
But it is not his home, and his rest is not there! 



THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL. 177 



THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL. 



The bells ring out, — the villagers 

Are keeping feast to-day, 
Gay groups are winding through the vines 

In pilgrim- like array, — 
Some singing to the viols shrill 

That are tinkling on the way. 

The banner on the chapel-tower 
Droops down the flag- staff tall, 

The shadows of the leafy planes 
Are quivering round the wall, 

And the spirit of a joyous time 
Is brooding over all. 

But Pain and Sorrow tread behind 

The dancing steps of Joy, 
And the shadow of their presence will 

Each golden hour alloy : 
Hard by the careless throng I see 

A mother with her boy. 



178 THE TILLAGE FESTIVAL. 

She sits before her cottage door, 

Beneath a shady vine, — 
In vain to her the music sounds, 

In vain the sun doth shine ; — 
She only sees her little child 

In mortal sickness pine. 

He lieth moaning on her knee, 

While she would soothe his pain, — 

There is fever seething in the blood, 
And throbbing in the vein ; — 

Alas ! that little wasted cheek 
Will never bloom again. 

His voice no more at noon and eve 
Will ring beside the hearth, — 

No more his laugh her heavy heart 
Will lighten with its mirth ; — 

His little joys have lain, alas ! 
Within a narrow girth. 

Soon will a sad array be seen 
Slow- winding down the dell, — 

Before the priest the surpliced boy 
Will swing his funeral bell ; 

And the people at their doors will say, 
" 'Tis little Manuel ! " 



THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL. 17!) 

Wherefore, with vacant eye she sees 

The folk pass to and fro, — 
She looks, but heeds not who they be, 

Xor how they come and go ; — 
She only feels upon her heart 

The heavy gripe of woe. 

In after days, when of this feast 

She hears the neighbours tell, 
She will be silent, but the time 

She will remember well; — 
" That summer," she will think, " I lost 

My darling Manuel ! n 

To her this grief will be a date 

Through all the coming years, — 
A pillar on her way, to which 

She will often turn with tears ; — 
How many such a monument 

Along Life's path appears ! 

For the traces left by Joy are faint, — 

His step is light and free ; 
But the footprints of our Suffering, 

So deeply stamped they be, 
That they never wear out from the sands 

Of wreck-strewn Memory. 



180 THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS. 



THE CHAECOAL-BUENEES. 



A lofty mountain-wall, that parts 

Two valleys fair and green, 
We scaled, and stood in purer air, 

"Where winds were blowing keen, — 
It was as if, by sudden glance, 

Two separate worlds were seen. 

One with a cloudless sky, and filled 

With sunlight to the sea, — 
The other, dim with surging mists, 

That drifted loose and free, 
And cast fantastic shadows down 

On rock, and stream, and tree. 

Dark chestnut-trees, festooned with vines, 

Stood thick in either dell, — 
The goat in fragrant thickets browsed 

And tinkled his small bell, 
And from some mountain* cove, unseen, 

The goatherd blew his shell. 



THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS. 181 

Through the rich greenery below 

Were sprinkled quiet eots, 
Each fenced by bristling spires of maize, 

Or yams in marshy plots, 
While mulberry, and quince, and fig, 

Besprent the sunnier spots. 

To us it seemed some happy haunt 

Of freedom and content, — 
A little world, shut out from care 

And all disquietment ; 
So Fancy pictured, when a group 

Came up the slow ascent. 

With toiling steps they gained the height, 

A weary group of four, — 
A care-worn man, on whom the weight 

Of years was pressing sore, 
And younger forms, untimely bent 

Beneath the loads they bore. 

Their heavy burdens they unbound, 

And stopped a while to rest, — 
One a mere child, who shrunk from sight, 

With girlish fear possessed, — 
A smile strayed o'er the old mans face, 

When we the child addressed. 



182 THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS. 

They had been in the woods, he said, 
From early morning-light, 

To watch their fires, amidst the smoke, 
With bleared and aching sight ; 

And, with their loads, a weary way 
Must go ere fall of night. 

Each day's hard labour barely earned 
The needful means of life, — 

With Care and Poverty they waged 
A sharp and wasting strife ; 

And sorrows keener still were his, — 
He had a dying wife. 

A mournful story, that dispelled 

My fancy's idle dream, — 
A tale of want, and grief, and care, — 

Life's one unchanging theme, 
That makes the world a wilderness, 

Whatever it may seem. 

And so the scene, to us so fair, 
For them no beauty had, — 

Nor ever had they felt its power 
To make the spirit glad ; 

With its dark drapery the mind 
All festive Nature clad. 



THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS. 183 

They stood with lustreless, dull eyes 

Amidst the works of God, — 
Earth bloomed in vain for them, in vain 

Heaven cast its joy abroad ; — 
Their minds were struck with blight, their hearts 

Were in the dust they trod. 

Beyond the daily strife with want, 

No care, no thought had they, — 
No higher claim could break the spell 

Of this habitual sway ; — 
And thus, from infancy to age, 

One life had worn away. 

From day to day, the dim-eyed mind 

Its narrow circle paced, — 
Its springs had rusted from disuse, 

Its powers had run to waste, 
And, line by line, the godlike sign 

That stamped it was defaced. 

Nor, musing thus, do I condemn - 

Its misery, but mourn 
That Care can so corrode the mind, 

And leave the heart forlorn ; — 
Let man unveil the woes of man 

In sorrow, not in scorn. 



184 A VINTAGE SKETCH. 



A VINTAGE SKETCH. 



The festive joy of vintage fills the land, — 
The treaders in the wine-press, treading long, 
Lighten their labours with alternate song ; 

And not less happy is that high-perched band, 

Who glean with quick and never-ceasing hand 
The full-swollen clusters, buried deep among 
The chestnut leaves. An inspiration strong, 

Of genial mirth, makes every heart expand. 

Pleasant it is to mark in days like these 

How lightly Childhood wears its golden chain, 

To watch these boys, in playful rivalries, 
Challenge each other in the leafy lane, 

"Who highest o'er the windy poplar trees 
Will sling the unripe orange from the cane. 



EVENING PICTURE. 185 



EVENING PICTUKE. 



Over the hill-edge ripples the warm light, — 
One level ray along the sprouting vines 
Gleams like a seraph's spear. The dusky lines 

Of the far woods grow shapeless on the height, 

Where the slow mists fold up their fleeces white, 
Now flecked with purple. O'er that cloud of pines 
The sky to clearest spirit of air refines, 

And a star settles trembling on the sight. 

Cool winds are rustling downwards to the seas, 
To worn, homefaring men benignly given. 

From the soft glooms of church-encircling trees, 
Fast darkening in the shadows of the even, 

The small bells sprinkle pensive cadences, 

And Earth is peacefully atoned with Heaven ! 



N 



186 PORTO SANTO. 



POETO SANTO, 

AS SEEN PROM THE NORTH OF MADEIRA. 



This island was the first that was colonised by the Portuguese ad- 
venturers of the fifteenth century, and is on this account 
remarkable as having led them into that brilliant track of 
discovery, which, at a later period, opened up to the mother 
country the riches of Brazil and India. Columbus married a 
daughter of Bartolomeo Perestrello, the first governor of the 
island, and one of the ablest navigators of the age. After his 
marriage, he lived for some time in Porto Santo, and the ac- 
cess he thereby obtained to Perestrello' s charts and journals 
may be supposed to have strengthened his resolution to at- 
tempt that enterprise which made him, but not till twenty 
years after, the discoverer of a new world. 



The sun is dim, — upon the sea 
A sultry mist hangs heavily, — 

The water, air, and sky 
Wear each the same dull, sober gleam : 
So that one element they seem, 

Confused upon the eye. 



PORTO SANTO. 187 

Beyond these dusky clumps of pine, 
The sea slopes upward to the line 

Of light that streaks the west ; 
The waves are murmuring faint and far, 
And heaving languidly, — they are 

The very type of rest. 

Glance northward through the haze, and mark 
That shadowy island floating dark 

Amidst the seas serene ; 
It seems some fair enchanted isle, 
Like that which saw Miranda smile 

When Ariel sang unseen. 

O happy, after all their fears, 
Were those old Lusian mariners 

Who hailed that land the first, — 
Upon whose seared and aching eyes, 
With an enrapturing surprise, 

Its bloom of verdure burst ! 

Their anchor in a creek, shell-paven, 

They dropped, — and hence " The Holy Haven" 

They named the welcome land ; 
The breezes strained their masts no more, — 
And all around the sunny shore 

Was summer, laughing bland. 



188 PORTO SANTO. 

They wandered on through green arcades, 
Where fruits were hanging in the shades, 

And blossoms clustering fair ; 
Strange gorgeous insects shimmered by, 
And from the brakes sweet minstrelsy 

Entranced the woodland air. 

Years passed, and to the island came 
A mariner of unknown name, 

And grave Castilian speech ; 
The spirit of a great emprise 
Aroused him, and with flashing eyes 

He paced the pebbled beach. 

What time the sun was sinking slow, 
And twilight spread a rosy glow 

Around its single star, 
His eye the western sea's expanse 
Would search, creating by its glance 

Some cloudy land afar. 

He saw it when translucent Even 

Shed mystic light o'er Earth and Heaven, 

Dim shadowed on the deep ; 
His fancy tinged each passing cloud 
With the fine phantom, and he bowed 

Before it in his sleep. 



PORTO SANTO. 189 

He hears greybearded sailors tell, 
How the discoveries befell 

That glorify their time ; 
"And forth I go, my friends," he cries, 
" To a severer enterprise 

Than tasked your glorious prime. 

" Time was when these green isles, that stud 
The expanse of this familiar flood, 

Lived but in fancy fond. 
Earth's limits, — think you here they are? 
Here has the Almighty fixed his bar, 

Forbidding glance beyond ? 

" Each shell is murmuring on the shore, 
And w T ild sea-voices evermore 

Are sounding in my ear ; 
I long to meet the eastern gale, 
And with a free and stretching sail 

Through virgin seas to steer. 

"Two galleys trim, some comrades stanch, 
And I with hopeful heart would launch 

Upon this shoreless sea. 
Till I have searched it through and through, 
And seen some far land looming blue, 

My heart will not play free." 



190 PORTO SANTO. 

Forth fared he through the deep to rove, — 
For months with angry winds he strove, 

And passions fiercer still, 
Until he found the long-sought land, 
And leaped upon the savage strand 

With an exulting thrill. 

The tide of life now eddies strong 
Through that broad wilderness, where long 

The eagle fearless flew ; 
Where forests waved, fair cities rise, 
And science, art, and enterprise, 

Their restless aims pursue. 

There dwells a people, at whose birth 
The shout of Freedom shook the earth, — 

Whose fame through all the lands 
Has travelled, — and before whose eyes, 
Bright with their glorious destinies, 

A proud career expands. 

I see their life by passion wrought 
To intense endeavour, and my thought 

Stoops backward in its reach 
To him who, in that early time, 
Revolved his enterprise sublime 

On Porto Santo's beach. 



PORTO SANTO. 191 

Methinks that solitary soul 
Held, in its ark, this radiant roll 

Of human hopes upfurled, — 
That there in germ this vigorous life 
Was sheathed, which now in earnest strife 

Is working through the world. 

Still on our way, with care-worn face, 
Abstracted eye, and sauntering pace, 

May pass one such as he, 
Whose mind heaves with a secret force, 
That shall be felt along the course 

Of far Futurity. 

Call him not fanatic or fool, 
Thou Stoic of the modern school ; 

Columbus-like, his aim 
Points forward with a true presage, 
And nations of a later age 

Mav rise to bless his name. 



192 the gold-seeker's song. 



THE GOLD-SEEKEE'S SONG. 



Ye have heard what stirring thoughts 

Roused the venturous souls of old, 
When Jason and his Argonauts 
Sought the fleece of gold. 

Many a gallant youth of Greece, 

High in hope, went o'er the foam, 
Weary sought the shadowy fleece, 
Weary wandered home. 

Brighter than old poet's dreams, 

We have found the region blest, 
By the Sacramento's streams, 
In the desolate West. 

We have heard the golden river, 

Chiming with metallic sound, — 
Rapturous music which doth ever 
Make the spirit bound. 



the gold-seeker's song. 193 

We have seen the level prairie 

Sown broadcast with heavy gold, — 
Found the glittering realm of Faery, 
And the half not told. 

Channels with its seeds are paven, 

Sands are sparkling with its light, 
And the luminous land is graven 
With its cyphers bright. 

'Tis like dew upon the waste, 

Here in scales and there in grains, 
And the rocks are interlaced 
With its ruddy veins. 

Come, then, to these yellow sands, 

Ye who drudge in sweat of brow, 
And no more through barren lands 
Urge the thankless plough. 

Ye who ere the dawning rise 

When the bell of the factory tolls, — 
Ye who blear and sear your eyes 
Over glowing coals, — 

To these golden shores repair ; — 

Who would grudge the time or toil, 
When each mattock-stroke lays bare 
Heaps of glorious spoil ? 



194 the gold-seeker's song. 

Ye whose names the Law has scored, 

Ye on whom Opinion rails, 
Come where Justice drops her sword, 
And Fortune loads her scales. 

Tis a land without Bastiles, 

Law or lawyer, priest or sage, — 
Where Time rings in with merry peals 
Another golden age. 

'Tis the grave of all degree, 

Each man is his fellow's peer, 

High and low, and bond and free, 

Change their places here. 

Free from watch, and safe from warden, 

Ye may wander where ye please, 
And no dragon keeps the garden 
Of the Hesperides. 



RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 195 



RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 



Crimine quo merui, juvenis placidissime Divum, 
Quove errore miser, donis ut solus egerem, 
Sonine, tuis ? 

STATIUS. 

Weary heart ! what makes thee beat 
Such a loud and rapid measure ? 
Why this wild and feverish heat, 
Ever burning in the breast, 
Robbing day of all its pleasure, 
Quiet night of all its rest ? 
Tell me what unwonted weight 
Hath upon thee pressed of late, 
That thou should'st thine office do 
With this quick, uneasy motion, 
While the blood leaps to and fro 
Like the tide of some vext ocean. 
When I read, or when I think, 
When I hover on the brink 
Of slumber, wherefore dost thou start 
And flutter so, my weary heart ? 



196 RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 

Why within my bosom bound 
With this dull and heavy sound, 
Like the throbbing hollow bell 
That rings out a funeral knell ? 

Why dost thou, dewy Sleep ! 
Ever thus at distance keep ; 
Have I broken thy sweet law, 
Sweet to soul, and sweet to sense, 
That thou should'st so far withdraw 
Thy bland, refreshing influence ? 

When I was a careless boy, 
Breathing the free air of joy, 
By the first star lit to bed, 
When my childish prayer was said ; 
Then, with quick, benign surprise, 
Thou would'st fall upon my eyes, 
As the soft and soundless dew 
Lights upon the violets blue, — 
As the small and murmuring rain, 
Wept from summer clouds, which stain 
The blue heavens an hour, and pass, 
Having cheered the thirsty grass. 
Then, or e'er I was aware, 
Thou hadst caught me in thy snare, 
Lulled me with thy drowsy wings ; 
From thy deep, soul-charming springs 
Sprinkled over every sense 
An oblivious influence ; 



RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 197 

Called up lovely shapes and bright 

To bewitch me all the night, — 

Store of radiant apparitions, 

Castles, forests, shifting visions, 

Flushed with gleams from Eastern skies, 

Shifting ever to the chime 

Of melodious phantasies, 

From the Faery land that lies 

In that spicy Persian clime, 

And the old enchanted time, 

When the Caliphs in their state 

In Bagdad, by the Tigris, sate. 

Happy times ! gone like a breath, — 

Blissful nights for ever ended, 

Visions, voices, marvels flown, 

Days of Innocence and Faith, 

When the mystery of Death 

Was as yet uncomprehended, 

Because Sin was yet unknown ! 

Happy ignorance, that goes 
From the creature as it grows ! 
Like the bloom from off the rose, 
Like the brightness from the eye, 
Like the glory from the sky, 
And the music of the stream, 
And the witchery of the dream, — 
All that in Life's morning glow- 
Once we saw, but see not now : 



198 RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 

All that perishes in the strife 
Of this care-corroded life, 
All that Wisdom from us takes 
As its tribute, all that makes 
Childhood's world a paradise 
(Rich in each resource to bless). 
To the weed-sown wilderness 
That around our Manhood lies ! 

When I was a student free, 
With an earnest ecstacy, 
Digging in the mines of old 
For the brave barbaric gold, 
From which Ethnic sages wrought 
Rare creations of high thought, 
When I took a lofty pleasure 
To lay bare their hidden treasure, — 
Thirsted for that generous juice 
Which the Poets of old days, 
In their passion-haunted lays 
(For all generations' use), 
Stored and sealed to inspire 
Nimble wits with its fine fire, — 
I could hold at scorn thy power ; 
Many a joyous midnight hour 
Would I rob thee of, — in vain 
Wouldst thou murmur and complain,- 
And, in wrath at my disdain, 



RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 199 

Thou wouldst strive and struggle hard, 

With some well-contrived device, 

To throw my spirit off its guard, 

And steal on me by surprise. 

Thou wouldst cast some shadow fair 

O'er my mind, — into the air 

Breathe a melting drowsy charm 

My faint senses to disarm ; 

In my ear wouldst whisper bland, — 

Thy constraining gentle hand 

On my eyelids thou wouldst press, — 

And a sense of weariness 

Through my languid limbs infuse 

By the virtue of thy dews, — 

And a mist would swim before 

My vision till I read no more. 

Sleep ! thou, then, wert never coy, — 

In the middle of my joy, 

Even when thou wast not sought 

And most alien to my thought, 

Thou wouldst come, unloved, unbidden ; 

Xow thou wilt not come though chidden. 

I repent me of the slight 
Done to thee in days of yore, — 
Days now ended evermore ! — 
And from under this great blight 
Which I dreamt not would befall me, 
Xow, O Sleep ! I vainly call thee. 



200 RHYMES OF A VIGIL. 

Wilt thou not, O power benign, 
Soothe me with thy anodyne, 
And, in this extremity, 
Cancel the severe decree 
Which in anger thou hast passed? 
Wilt thou still refuse to cast 
O'er my sense that gentle rain, 
Which will ease me of my pain ? 



SONNET, 201 



SOXXET. 



Oft when the moon has sunk beneath the night, 

Nor gladdens heaven with her golden eve, 

A fitful meteor burning in the sky 
May bring the outline of his path in sight 
To some belated shepherd. By its light 

The wold is brightened, the far hills seem nigh 

At whose dark feet his lonely hut doth lie, 
And thankfully he guides his steps aright : 
So 'when the world, beneath a weight of doom, 

Seemed reeling on through darkness, vague and blind, 
Some transitory brightness might illume 

The great interlunation of its mind, — 
A sweet presentiment, that through the gloom 

Some better light should rise to bless mankind. 



202 A FANCY. 



A FANCY. 



Below me spreads a wide and lonely beach, 

The ripple washing higher on the sands, — 

A river that has come from far-off lands 
Is coiled behind in many a shining reach ; 

But now it widens, and its banks are bare, — 
It settles as it nears the moaning sea ; 
An inward eddy checks the current free, 

And breathes a briny dampness through the air. 
Beyond the waves, low vapours through the skies 

Were trailing, like a battle's broken rear ; 
But, smitten by pursuing winds, they rise, 

And the blue slopes of a far coast appear, 
With shadowy peaks, on which the sunlight lies 

Uplifted in aerial distance clear. 



CLAVERHOUSE. 203 



CLAVEEHOUSE. 



Stand pilloried for ever on the stage 

Of infamy, and bear to latest time 

The blood -red superscription of thy crime, 
That men, Graeme ! may wonder at the age 
Which gendered thee. "What generous heart could 
wage 

Such war with peasants, maidens in their prime, 

And grey-haired pastors ? Who so basely climb 
To greatness, linking such a heritage 

Of foul dishonour to a noble name ? 
But thy memorial perished : childless thou 

Wert written in the land. Thy evil fame 
Has smirched the gilded bauble on thy brow : 
And the blind zeal which would exalt thee now 

Embalms corruption, and must share its shame. 



204 THE PICTURE OF A MARTYRDOM. 



THE PICTUEE OF A MAETYEDOM. 



Meek, suffering saint ! in holy peacefulness 
Thou standest, budding to thy virgin prime, 
Fair as a lily of thy southern clime 

Erect against the rain. Thy Lord doth bless 

And help thee in this hour : the sharp distress 
Even unto death, which tries thee, doth sublime 
Thy maiden modesty before the time 

Into a graver air of saintliness. 

With a sweet smile thou liftest thy pure eyes 

Heavenward, the while these glowing pincers tear 
Thy dove-like bosom. In thy golden hair 

The lictor's hand is twisted. With surprise 
Thy brutal judge looks on. But in the air 

Thou seest the angel waiting with the prize. 



THE GRAVE OF DODDRIDGE AT LISBON. 205 



THE GRAVE OF DODDRIDGE AT LISBON. 



Ix that fair city by the Tagus' side, 

I stood beside the grave which holds in trust, 

Until the resurrection of the just, 
The ashes of a spirit glorified. 
I thought of how he lived, and how he died, 

And how a sacred reverence guards the dust, 

And keeps unwasted by sepulchral rust 
A name with Heaven and holiness allied. 
A bird was singing in the cypress-tops, — 

It seemed an echo of the voice which led 
The soul to rise to its immortal hopes, 

Repeating still the words on earth it said : 
And gleams of light were trembling on the slopes, 

Like angels' shadows watching round the dead. 



206 RUINS OF CARTEIA. 



RUINS OF CAETEIA. 

A PH<ENICIAN CITY NEAR GIBRALTAR, SUPPOSED TO BE THE 
ANCIENT TARSHISH. 



A lonely grange that crests a gentle hill, 

Upon the margin of a bright blue bay, 

And a few scattered stone- heaps, mossed and grey, 
Are all that keep thy site in memory still, 
Proud daughter of proud Tyre ! Her wealth and skill 

Adorned thee for the Roman's sterner sway ; 

But now on both, alike in your decay, 
The careless fisher spreads his nets at will. 
Yet far less sad to me this silent scene 

Than such a life as lingers still beneath 
The stately towers where Rome once sat as queen, — 

The mask without the spark of vital breath, — 
The spirit rusted, like a blade once keen, 

And some dim gilding left upon the sheath. 



THE BAY OF BARCELONA. 207 



THE BAY OF BARCELONA. 



'Tis evening, and the thunder-cloud 

Sinks spent behind the western hill, 
The light has rent its lurid shroud, 

And breezes waft it at their will ; 
The golden rays of sunset stream 

On castled mount and turret srrev, 
The clear air quivers in the gleam 

That falls upon the glassy bay. 



The scattered barks to land return, 

Their toils forgot in sight of home, — 
They bravely dared the lowering morn, 

And clove their path through mist and foam ; 
At noon the cloudy north-wind blew, 

The answering waves rose wild and high, 
And drifting vapours swept from view 

The landmarks sacred to the eve ; — 



208 THE BAY OF BARCELONA. 

But now, like sea-birds, to the land 

At even they flock with snowy wings, 
And cloudless skies and breezes bland 

Breathe fresh and genial welcomings. 
The sails reflect the brimming light, 

And, as the shallops onward glide, 
A softened shadow, dim and white, 

Floats far beneath them in the tide. 

How blest the life which, in its prime, 

Some testing ill hath bravely borne, 
To hail a tranquil evening-time, 

And skies that wear the tints of morn ! 
But woe to him who wakes at last 

From listless dreams and false repose, 
To see at even the coming blast, 

And life first darkening at its close ! 



CORTOXA. 209 



CORTOXA. 



WnERE hoar Cortona crests a mountain lone, 
Fenced by the massy walls Etruria reared, 
Ere yet Rome's straggling cabins had appeared 

By the low hills that were to be her throne, 

I looked o'er plains of richest verdure shown 
In the still clearness of the summer air, 
Far-surging waves of woodland, hamlets fair, 

And storied castles, wildly overgrown. 

The windless heat was settling on the broad 

Sweet champaign, mellowing all its fruitage green, 

From sharp Monte Pulciano, with a load 
Of vines upon its slopes, to thy serene 
And silent shore, O crystal Thrasymene ! 

Where olives fringe the rill* that ran with blood. 

* The Sanguinetto. 



210 INCISA. 



INCISA, 

THE SCENE OF PETRARCH'S BOYHOOD, NEAR FLORENCE. 



That hour abides with me, as doth a trance 
Of pleasure, when, by Arno's wave reclined, 
I watched the poplars twinkling in the wind, 

And the quick martlet through the arches glance 

Across the yellow stream ; or heard, perchance, 
Some vintage-maiden sing along the shore 
A song that sweeter seemed when Xature wore 

So sweet a smile upon her countenance. 

It was where, 'midst her vines and olives pale, 
Incisa sits, rejoicing that she gave 

His childhood's home to Petrarch. The low wail 
Of the immortal lover, from his grave 
Beyond the Po, came up the Tuscan wave, 

And faintly murmured through the quiet vale. 



DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE. 211 



DISCOVERY OF THE NOETH-WEST PASSAGE. 



i. 
Strait of III Hope ! thy frozen lips at last 

Unclose, to teach our seamen how to sift 

A passage where blue icebergs clash and drift, 
And the shore loosely rattles in the blast. 
We hold the secret thou hast clenched so fast 

For ages, — our best blood has earned the gift, — 

Blood spilt, or hoarded up in patient thrift, 
Through sunless months in ceaseless peril passed. 
But what of daring Franklin ? Who may know 

The pangs that wrung that heart so proud and brave, 
In secret wrestling with its deadly woe, 

And no kind voice to reach him o'er the wave ? 
Xow he sleeps fast beneath his shroud of snow, 

And the cold Pole-Star only knows his grave. 

ii. 

Alone, on some sharp cliff, I see him strain, 
O'er the white waste, his keen, sagacious eye, 
Or scan the signs of the snow-muffled sky, 

In hope of quick deliverance, — but in vain ; 



212 DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE. 

Then, faring to his icy tent again, 

To cheer his mates with his familiar smile, 
And talk of home and kinsfolk, to beguile 

Slow hours, which freeze the blood and numb the 
brain. 

Long let our hero's memory be enshrined 
In all true British hearts ! He calmly stood 

In danger's foremost rank, nor looked behind. 
He did his work, not with the fevered blood 
Of battle, but with hard-tried fortitude, 

In peril dauntless, and in death resigned. 

in. 
Despond not, Britain ! Should this sacred hold 

Of Freedom, still inviolate, be assailed, 

The high, unblenching spirit which prevailed 
In ancient days is neither dead nor cold. 
Men are still in thee of heroic mould, — 

Men whom thy grand old sea-kings would have hailed 

As worthy peers, invulnerably mailed, 
Because by Duty's sternest law controlled. 
Thou yet wilt rise, and send abroad thy voice 

Among the nations, battling for the right, 
In the unrusted armour of thy youth ; 
And the oppressed shall hear it and rejoice, 

For on thy side is the resistless might 
Of Freedom, Justice, and Eternal Truth ! 



MY FIRST BIRTHDAY IX A FOREIGN LAND. 213 



MY FIEST BIRTHDAY IN A FOEEIGN LAND. 



Behind my wandering steps, the busy hands 

Of Time build up the moments into years, 
And noiselessly from these fast-dropping sands 

The temple of my mortal life he rears. 

Alas ! to me too surely it appears 
A weak devoted structure, which commands 
No prospect of continuance, and stands 

On a most tottering base. But Thou these fears, 
O God ! canst turn to hopes, that when this frail 
Tent of the spirit shrivels into dust, 

One of Thy many mansions shall be mine, 

Eternal in the Heavens. So through the vale 

Of Life I go my way with lowly trust, 

Contented heart, and will resigned to Thine ! 



214 THE DIAL xVND FOUNTAIN. 



THE DIAL AND FOUNTAIN. 



The day its course appointed calmly holds, — 
Morn wears to noon, and noon to starry night, 

And, as a fruitful seed, each dawn unfolds, 
In fair succession, all the hours of light. 

The river glideth seawards, — ever full 

From bank to bank, the abounding current sweeps : 
And, fenced by quiet hills, the lonely pool 

Clasps the same shadows in its stainless deeps. 

The sprouting grain that flushes all the Spring 
Its future perfectness may surely know, 

And wait serenely for its ripening 

Through Summer suns to Autumn's golden glow. 

Alas ! that he for whom the sunlight shines, 
And the sweet seasons all their wealth mature, 

Can track his path by no unfailing signs, 
Nor front the future with a glance secure. 



THE DIAL AND FOUNTAIN. 215 

His daybreak may not shine all round his sky, 
Xo mellow fruitage crown his hopeful prime, — 

Death, near the gate of Life, may ambushed lie, 
And strike him in the middle-watch of Time. 

The river of his Life a while expands, — 

Trees fringe the banks, and fair winds crisp the tide, 
But soon it wanders out through burning sands, 

And Night beholds it lost in deserts wide. 

I followed once a streamlet up a dell, 

Where birds were warbling in the early day, 

And traced its waters to their parent-well, 
Beside which stood a dial mossed and grey. 

" I only count Time's sunny hours,"* — so meant 
The antique legend quaintly carved above ; 

" Then count one now," I cried, and stood content 
In thoughtless mood to watch the shadow move. 

Slowly it crept a while, but suddenly 

Traversed the dial-plate with ominous haste ; 

One moment, and the sun yet climbed the sky, 
The next, he sunk far in the darkening west. 

The fountain, too, that rippled o'er the lips 
Of its scooped basin, ceased at once to flow ; 

Its waters, struck with chill by that eclipse, 

Stopped, and shrank murmuring to the spring below. 
* Xon koras numero, nisi serenas. 



216 THE DIAL AND FOUNTAIN. 

Then o'er my spirit, with an instant glance 
Of light, shone forth the import of the sign ; 

A wind-like sound sighed through it as in trance, — 
The access of a voice not undivine : — 

" Soon on thy path shall dreary shadows fall, 
And the free air grow heavy to thy breath, 

And all the springs of Thought be dried, and all 
Thy fond hopes trodden in the dust of death. 

" But the still stars will charm the evening-air, 
And duly will the dawn go up the East, 

And Nature's framework still be firm and fair, — 
The Temple standing longer than the Priest. 

" Yet mourn not that so soon thou must depart,. 

Whilst Nature changeless works in earth and sky ; 
No higher life is stirring in her heart, — 

Thou hast a spirit that shall never die ! 

" Therefore thou hast no certain hold on Time, 
Because with an immortal being blest ; 

Thy soul is alien to this earthly clime, 
And only in the Infinite can rest. 

" Then break the cords that bind thee to the dust, 

Lift up thy spirit to its high estate, 
Put on thy shining robes, and tread in trust 

The path that leadeth to the Heavenly Gate. 



THE DIAL AND FOUNTAIN. 217 

" If Life's light darken, through that higher sphere 
Give thy ethereal hopes their radiant range ; 

And, fair through Death, those mansions shall appear 
Where calm Perfection triumphs over Change ! " 



surely much of Heaven was in that hour, — 
And often to my heart will memory bring 

Its vanished vision, with reviving power, — 
The darkened Dial, and the dried-up Spring ! 



218 TO A FRIEND IX THE MINISTRY. 



TO A FEIEND IN THE MINISTEY. 



Still in my memory dwells the happy time, 

When, closely-linked in Friendship's sweet accord, 
"We gathered wisdom from the sacred Word, 

Or ancient books, enriched with truth sublime. 

Then, side by side, it was our wont to climb 

The Temple-stairs, where, kneeling, we implored 
Support to fight the battles of the Lord, 

To which we then did consecrate our prime. 

Now fast, in the vanguard of God's array, 
Thou standest like a soldier tried and true ; 

I, like-accoutred, early in the day, 

Outworn and drooping, from the strife withdrew ; 

Ajid keep my lonely watch beside the way, 
With thee in spirit, though removed from view. 



SOXNET. 219 



SONNET. 



My grief pursues me through the Land of Sleep, 

It winds into the secret of my dreams, 

And shapes their shadowy pomp. When Fancy seems 
To charm my fevered spirit into deep 
Forgetfulness, the restless thought will creep 

From its dim ambush, startling that repose, 

And glooms and spectral terrors round me close, 
Like iron walls I may not overleap. 
And then I seem to see thy face again, 

But not, beloved ! as thou wert and art, 
And, with thy sweet voice tingling in my brain, 

From this great agony of fear I start, 
To feel the slow throb of habitual pain, 

And undulled anguish grasping at my heart. 



220 BOAZ AND THE REAPERS. 






JBOAZ AND THE EEAPEES. 



"And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the 
reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The 
Lord bless thee." — Ruth ii. 4. 

simple piety of early days ! 

When the kind master, 'midst his golden sheaves, 

Greets in God's name his reapers, and receives 
Their greeting in devout and fervent phrase. 
Here gladness dwells, and peace, which pastoral lays 

Have pictured never, — sacred peace which springs 

Beneath the shadow of Religion's wings. 
When from a nation's heart its faith decays, 

An inward and uniting virtue dies ; 
All social elements in that groat wane 

Become distempered, — firm and genial ties 
Relax, to part when comes the testing strain, — 

And those once linked by steadfast sympathies 
Stand sundered, in defiance and disdain. 



A REMEMBRANCE. 221 



A REMEMBRANCE. 



Though I most surely know where thou art gone, 
Xow thou art vanished from our mortal sight, 
And that thou hast thy dwelling in the light 

Which no unpurged eye may look upon, 

Still thy sweet image, as it once was known 
And loved in sorrow, and thy gentle face 
With its mild suffering aspect, keeps its place 

Unchanged, unchangeable on Memory's throne. 

I seem to see thee, near and yet apart 
From the great congregation of the blest, 

Entranced in speechless wonder that thou art 
With Him for ever whom thou lovest best, 

With a great weight of gladness on thy heart, 
And an immortal consciousness of rest. 



222 A PARABLE-MIRACLE. 



A PAEABLE-MIEACLE. 



World ! the angels' eyes, struck with thy beauty, 
Hung over thee, enamoured, in thy prime, 

When thou, at concord with the law of duty, 
Went'st forward with a brightness into time. 

Order was in thy goings, Peace possessed 
Thy heart, and all was harmony and grace ; 

God, lifting up his hands, his last-born blessed, 
And all his breath was warm upon thy face. 

hadst thou stood but loyal to His will, 
Thy primal glory had not ceased to shine, 

For thee thy Maker's benison been still 
A freshening spring of influence benign. 

Angels had breathed thy unpolluted air, 
As the free suburb of their native heaven, 

And God himself, no chance-cast stranger there, 
Beneath thy flourishing trees had walked at even. 



A PARABLE-MIRACLE. 223 

But Madness struck thee on a sudden ; Sin 

Banished sweet Peace, the angel, from thy breast, 

And countless shapes of evil entered in, — 
Suspicion, Sorrow, Changefulness, Unrest. 

And now thy name is Legion ; and afar 

From God and goodness thou art madly driven, 

In the ascendant of a baleful star 

Thy wild and ceaseless wail goes up to heaven. 

The golden chain of Law and Duty thou 
Hast broken, in the frenzy of thy wrath, 

But heavier fetters clank upon thee now, 

And Death's dark shadow haunts thy troubled path. 

Yet One has met thee on thy reckless way, 
His power, his love, is on thee like a spell, — 

The inward struggle strengthens day by day, 
Which yet shall free thee from the fiends of hell. 

Yes ! thou shalt yet, with raiment white and holy, 
Come forth thy blest Deliverer to greet, 

And angels will behold thee sitting lowly, 
Thy madness ended, at thy Saviour's feet ! 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



1 My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint 
when thou art rebuked of Him."— Hebrews xii. 5. 



O Thou ! whose tender feet have trod 

The thorny path of w^oe, 
Forbid that I should slight the rod, 

Or faint beneath the blow. 
My spirit to its chastening stroke 

I meekly would resign, 
Nor murmur at the heaviest yoke 

That tells me I am Thine. 
Give me the spirit of Thy trust, 

To suffer as a son, — 
To say, though lying in the dust, 

My Father's will be done ! 



228 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 

I know that trial is His love 

With but a graver face, — 
That, veiled in sorrow, earthwards move 

His ministries of grace. 
May none depart till I have gained 

The blessing which it bears, 
And learn, though late, I entertained 

An angel unawares ! 
So will I bless the hour that sent 

The mercy of the rod, 
And build an altar by the tent 

Where I have met with God. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 229 



II. 



1 Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." 

John xi. 32. 

We sadly watched the close of all, 

Life balanced on a breath ; 
We saw upon his features fall 

The awful shade of death. 
All dark and desolate we were, 

And murmuring Nature cried, 
" surely, Lord, hadst Thou been here, 

Our brother had not died ! " 

But when its glance the memory cast 

On all that grace had done, 
And thought of lifelong warfare passed 

And endless victory won, 
Then Faith, prevailing, w T iped the tear, 

And looking upward, cried, 
" Lord, Thou surely hast been here, — 

Our brother has not died ! " 



230 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



III. 



"Ye are complete in Him."— Colossians II. 10. 

In Thee my heart, Jesus, finds repose, — 
Thou bringest rest to all that weary are. 
Until that day-spring from on high arose, 
I wandered through a night without a star ; 
My feet had gone astray 
Upon a lonely way, — 
Each guide I followed failed me in my need, — 
Each staff I leaned on proved a broken reed. 

Then, when in mine extremity to Thee 

I turned, Thy pity did prevent my prayer ; 
From that entangling maze it set me free, 
And quickly loosed my heavy load of care ; 
Gave me the lofty scope 
Of a heaven- centred hope, 
And led me on with Thee, a gentle guide, 
Thither where pure immortal joys abide. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 231 

Thou art the great completion of my soul, 

The blest fulfilment of its deepest need, — 
When self-surrendered to Thy mild control 
It enters into liberty indeed ; 
Thy love, a genial law, 
Its every aim doth draw 
Within its holy range, and sweetly lure 
Its longings toward the beautiful and pure. 

Thy presence is the never-failing spring 

Of life and comfort in each darker hour, 
And, through Thy grace benignly ministering, 
Grief wields a secret purifying power. 
'Tis sweet, O Lord, to know 
Thy kindredness with woe, — 
Sweeter to walk with Thee on ways apart 
Than with the world, where heart is shut to heart. 

For Thee Eternity reserves her hymn, — 

For Thee Earth has her prayers, and Heaven her 
vows ; 
Thy saints adore Thee, and the seraphim 
Under Thy glory stoop their starry brows. 
may that light divine 
On me still clearer shine, — 
A power, an inspiration from above, 
Lifting me higher to Thy perfect love ! 



232 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 






IV. 



" Bid me come unto Thee on the water."— Matthew xiv. 28. 

O, in the dark and stormy night, 

When far from land I cry with fear, 
Shine o'er the waves, thou holy light, — 

Then, O my Saviour, be Thou near ! 
Though from afar, let me but see 

Dim through the dark Thy gliding form, 
And bright the gloomy hour will be 

That brought Thy presence in the storm. 

Then lift Thy hand, and bid me come, 

And higher though the tempest blow, 
I through the wind and through the gloom 

To Thy loved side will gladly go. 
The wind is fair that blows to Thee, 

The wave is firm that bears me on, 
And stronger still that love to me 

Which many waters could not drown. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 233 

Or for Thy coming bid me wait, 

My soul in patience shall abide ; 
And though the storm may not abate, 

I will not seek another guide. 
With Thee I fear no angry blast, — 

With Thee my course points ever home ; 
And in good time, all perils past, 

To the Fair Havens I shall come. 



234 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



V. 

" The footsteps of the flock."— Song of Solomon i. £ 

Not always, Lord, in pastures green 

The sheep at noon Thou feedest, 

Where in the shade they lie 

Within Thy watchful eye ; 

Not always under skies serene 

The white-fleeced flock Thou leadest. 

On rugged ways, with bleeding feet, 
They leave their painful traces ; 
Through deserts drear they go, 
Where wounding briars grow, 
And through dark valleys, where they meet 
No quiet resting-places. 

Not always by the waters still, 
Or lonely wells palm-hidden, 
Do they find happy rest, 
And, in Thy presence blest, 
Delight themselves, and drink their fill 
Of pleasures unforbidden. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 235 

Their track is worn on Sorrow's shore, 
Where windy storms beat ever, — 
Their troubled course they keep, 
Where deep calls unto deep ; 
So going till they hear the roar 
Of the dark-flowing river. 

But wheresoe'er their steps may be, 

So Thou their path be guiding, 

be their portion mine ! — 

Show me the secret sign, 

That I may trace their way to Thee, 

And there find rest abiding. 

Slowly they gather to the fold 
Upon Thy holy mountain, — 
There, resting round Thy feet, 
They dread no storm nor heat, 
And slake their thirst where Thou hast rolled 
The stone from Life's full fountain. 



236 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



VI. 

SABBATH EVENING. 



time of tranquil joy and holy feeling ! 
When over earth God's Spirit from above 
Spreads out His wings of love ; 
When sacred thoughts, like angels, come appealing 
To our tent-doors ; — eve, to earth and heaven 
The sweetest of the seven ! 

How peaceful are thy skies ! thy air is clearer, 
As on the advent of a gracious time : 
The sweetness of its prime 
Blesses the world, and Eden's days seem nearer ; 
I hear, in each faint stirring of the breeze, 
God's voice among the trees. 

while thy hallowed moments are distilling 
Their fresher influence on my heart like dews, 
The chamber where I muse 
Turns to a temple ! — He whose converse thrilling 
Honoured Emmaus, that old eventide, 
Comes sudden to my side. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 23"* 

'Tis light at evening-time when Thou art present, — 
Thy coming to the eleven in that dim room 
Brightened, Christ ! its gloom ; 
So bless my lonely hour that memories pleasant 
Around the time a heavenly gleam may cast, 
Which many days shall last. 

Raise each low aim, refine each high emotion, 
That with more ardent footstep I may press 
Toward Thy holiness ; 
And, braced for sacred duty by devotion, 
Support my cross along that rugged road 
Which Thou hast sometime trod. 

I long to see Thee, for my heart is weary, — 

when, my Lord ! in kindness wilt Thou come 
To call Thy banished home ? 
The scenes are cheerless, and the days are dreary, — 
From sorrow and from sin I would be free, 
And evermore with Thee. 

Even now I see the golden city shining 

Up the blue depths of that transparent air, — 
How happy all is there ! 
There breaks a day which never knows declining, — 
A Sabbath through whose circling hours the blest 
Beneath Thy shadow rest ! 



238 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



VII. 



1 Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also 
in me."— John xiy. 1. 



No more let sorrow cloud the eye, 

Nor fears the spirit fill ; 
Though now the parting hour is nigh, 

My heart is with you still. 
My Father sent me from above, 

His mercy's brightest sign ; 
And if you trust His changeless love 

wherefore doubt of mine ? 



The stretching shadow of the cross 

Now overcasts my soul ; 
You sorrow for the coming loss, — 

I long to reach the goal. 
My love must first be tried by death 

Before it prove its power, 
And, through its triumph, give you faith 

For many an evil hour. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 239 

Dark days will come when I depart, 

But cast your care on me, 
And I, unseen, will keep the heart 

From fear and fainting free. 
The thorny path that I have trod 

Is also traced for you ; 
But where I walked alone with God, 

Ye have your Saviour too. 



VIII. 

TEUTH. 



The rounded whole of Truth the mortal mind 
May never mirror in its narrow sphere, 

Yet, as it looks to Heaven, may hope to find 
The faint reflection ever wax more clear. 

To him that seeks it is more largely sent, 
Nor murmurs he that all may not be given ; 

Upon the leaf each dew-drop is content 

To hold its segment of the round of Heaven. 



240 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



IX. 



" Faith worketh by love.' , — Gal. v. 6. 

mourn not that the days are gone, 

The old and wondrous days, 
"When Faith's unearthly glory shone 

Along our earthly ways ; 
When the Apostle's gentlest touch 

"Wrought like a sacred spell, 
And health came down on every couch 

On which his shadow fell. 



The glory is not wholly fled 

That shone so bright before, 
Nor is the ancient virtue dead 

Though thus it works no more. 
Still godlike Power witli Goodness dwells, 

And blessings round it move, 
And Faith still works its miracles, 

Though now it works by Love. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 2-il 

It may not on the crowded ways 

Lift up its voice as then, 
But still with sacred might it sways 

The stormy minds of men. 
Grace still is given to make the faint 

Grow stronger through distress, 
And even the shadow of the saint 

Retains its power to bless. 



242 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



X. 

A EEQUIEM. 



Thou art free from pain, and sorrow 

Like a cloud from thee hath passed ; 
And the day that knows no morrow 

Hath arisen on thee at last. 
The fair seal of life for ever 

Glitters clear upon thy brow ; 
And the sound of the dark river 

Hath no terror to thee now. 



Sore we wept when we were taking 

Our long farewell look at thee ; 
But around thee light was breaking 

Which no eye but thine might see. 
On thine ear a voice was falling 

Which to our ear might not come, — 
'Twas the voice of Jesus calling 

His beloved to her home. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 243 

In the stainless linen vested, 

Thou art sitting at the feast, 
And thy head is sweetly rested 

On the Saviour's loving breast. 
Thou hast heard the saints all singing, 

Thou hast also waved the palm, 
While the golden harps were ringing 

In the pauses of the psalm. 

Thou hast walked the pathways golden, 

Where the faithful walk in white, — 
With undazzled eyes beholden 

The fair city's jasper-light. 
Thou art safe there from all evil, — 

There no hurtful thing may be ; 
O'er the world, the flesh, the devil, 

Thou hast gained the victory. 

Wherefore we do not bewail thee, 

But will press the faster on, 
Till we meet thee, till we hail thee, 

In the land where thou art gone : 
Where the crystal streams are flowing 

For the comfort of the blessed, 
And the tree of life is growina, 

In whose peaceful shade they rest. 



244 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XI. 

THE DEATH OF A BELTEYEE. 



Acts xii. 



The Apostle sleeps, — a light shines in the prison, — 

An angel touched his side, 
" Arise," he said, and quickly he hath risen, 

His fettered arms untied. 

The watchmen saw no light at midnight gleaming, — 

They heard no sound of feet ; 
The gates fly open, and the saint still dreaming 

Stands free upon the street. 

So when the Christian's eyelid droops and closes 

In Nature's parting strife, 
A friendly angel stands where he reposes 

To wake him up to, life. 

He gives a gentle blow, and so releases 

The spirit from its clay ; 
Erom sin's temptations, and from life's distresses, 

He bids it come away. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 2\o 

It rises up, and from its darksome mansion 

It takes its silent flight, 
And feels its freedom in the large expansion 

Of heavenly air and light. 

Behind, it hears Time's iron gates close faintly, — 

It is now far from them, 
For it has reached the city of the saintly, 

The new Jerusalem. 

A voice is heard on earth of kinsfolk weeping 

The loss of one they love ; 
But he is gone where the redeemed are keeping 

A festival above. 

The mourners throng the ways, and from the steeple 

The funeral-bell tolls slow ; 
But on the golden streets the holy people 

Are passing to and fro ; 

And saying as they meet, " Rejoice ! another 

Long waited-for is come ; 
The Saviour's heart is glad, a younger brother 

Hath reached the Father's home ! " 



246 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XII. 

A THOUGHT AT EVENING. 



The peaks are swathed with purple light, — 

Day's shadow lingering up the skies, — 
And clouds above them, warm and bright, 

Are floating, flushed with kindred dyes. 
Below, the valleys lie in gloom, — 

The woods a sombre aspect wear ; 
But high above, that tender bloom 

Along the ridge refines the air. 

At evening-time it shall be light, 

Though clouds at dawn may mantle heaven,— 
Though wind and rain, though mist and blight, 

Across the lowering day be driven. 
Stand thou unshaken in thy place, 

And fix thy glance upon the sky ; 
At last a gleam will reach thy face, 

A heavenly gleam that will not die. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 247 



XIII. 

"The light that led astray 
Was light from heaven ! " 

It could not be ; no light from heaven 

Has ever led astray, — 
Its constant stars to guide are given, 

And never to betray. 
The meteor in the marish bred 

May lure the foot afar, 
But never wayfarer misled 

"Would say it was a star. 

When passion drives to wild excess, 

And folly wakes to shame, 
It cannot make the madness less 

To cast on heaven the blame. 
blindly wander if thou wilt ! 

And break from virtue's rule, 
But add not blasphemy to guilt, 

And doubly play the fool. 

The light that seemed to shine on high, 
And led thee on to sin, 



248 HYMNS AXD MEDITATIONS. 

Was but reflected to thine eye 

From passion s fire within. 
And Conscience warned thee of the guide, 

And Keason raised her voice, — 
Thou wert not forced to turn aside 

But freely niad'st the choice. 

Thy Will its false enchantment drew 

Before thy clearer sight, 
And round the hovering tempter threw 

An angel's robe of light. 
And thus from virtue's peaceful way 

So far by passion driven, 
How could the light that led astray 

Be light that shone from heaven ? 

Why, reckless of its native aim, 

Should genius, throned so high, 
E'er lend the sanction of its name 

To consecrate a lie, 
If not that a corrupted heart 

Degrades the noblest mind, 
And turns to shame the glorious art 

That should have blessed mankind ? 
spurn the guilty thought away ! 

Eternity will tell 
That every light that led astray 

Was lteht that shone from hell. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 249 



XIV. 

All sainted souls, Lord, are the chords 

From which Thy fingers draw 
Immortal music to the tones 

Of Thy most holy Law. 
The melodies which Thy wide heavens 

Through all the ages fill 
Are wills responding, and at one 

With Thine, the Master-Will. 

The angel's harp is but a heart 

That knows no law but Thine, 
The angel's song a creature's love 

At one with Love Divine; — 
And music breathes from all Thy worlds, 

Because they never stray 
From the blue spaces where of old 

Thy hand has traced their way. 

The soul of man was once the lyre 
On which Thy fingers played, 

Heaven's music then was heard on Earth, 
And Earth an answer made, — 

R 



250 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 

Till Sin untuned the instrument 

By Eden's fatal tree, 
Broke all its golden chords, and spoiled 

The sacred minstrelsy. 

Yet not for ever will it lie 

Mute, shattered on the ground, 
Thy hand can wake its strings again 

To some preluding sound, — 
Some wandering murmurs of the strain 

That sweet through Eden rung, 
When first it mingled in the hymn 

The stars of morning sung. 

The Saviour's gentle touch contains 

The secret charm to move 
And re-inspire it, by the power 

Of His redeeming love. 
He strings the broken chords again, 

And makes it here begin 
The everlasting psalm which floats 

Through regions pure from sin. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 251 



XV. 



THE DEATH OF AN INFANT. 



I heard the angels singing 

As they went up through the sky, 

A sweet infant's spirit bringing 
To its Father's house on high : 

" Happy thou, so soon ascended, 
With thy shining raiment on ! 
Happy thou, whose race is ended 
With a crown so quickly won! 

" Hushed is now thy lamentation, 

And the first words to thee given 
Will be words of adoration 

In the blessed speech of Heaven ; 
For the blood thou mightst have slighted 

Has now made thee pure within, 
And the evil seed is blighted 

That had ripened unto sin. 



252 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 

" We will lead thee by a river, 

Where the flowers are blooming fair ; 
"We will sing to thee for ever, 

For no night will darken there. 
Thou shalt walk in robes of glory ; 

Thou shalt wear a golden crown ; 
Thou shalt sing Redemption's story, 

With the saints around the throne. 

" Thou wilt see that better country, 

Where a tear-drop never fell, — 
Where a foe made never entry, 

And a friend ne'er said farewell ; * 
Where, upon the radiant faces 

That will shine on thee alway, 
Thou wilt never see the traces 

Of estrangement or decay. 

" Thee we bear, a lily-blossom, 

To a sunnier clime above ; 

There to lay thee in a bosom 

Warm with more than mother's love. 



* "Days without night, joys without sorrow, sanctity without 
sin, charity without stain, possession without fear, society without 
envying, communication of joys without lessening; and they shall 
dwell in a blessed country, where an enemy never entered, and 
from whence a friend never went away." — Jeremy Taylor. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 253 

Happy thou, so timely gathered 

From a region cold and bare, 
To bloom on, a flower unwithered, 

Through an endless summer there ! " 

Through the night that dragged so slowly, 

Eachel watched beside a bed ; 
Weeping wildly, kneeling lowly, 

She would not be comforted. 
To her lost one she was clinging, 

Raining tears upon a shroud ; 
She could hear no angels singing, — 

See no brightness through the cloud. 



XVI. 

A THOUGHT ON TIME. 



How T oft we fret for Time's delays, 

And urge him on with sighs, 
But to lament in after days 

How rapidly he flies ! 
Too late we sorrow to receive 

What once we thought a boon : 
Life hurries past us, but we grieve 

To reach the crave too soon. 



254 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XVII. 

•LINES. 



Honour will oft elude the grasp 

That rashly courts the prize ; 
The radiant phantom we would clasp, 

Still, as we follow, flies. 
But oft, on Duty's lowly way, 

Unsought, will Honour meet 
The patient traveller, and lay 

Her treasures at his feet. 

Thus he who went to seek of old 

Some asses that had strayed, 
Found on his way a crown of gold 

Placed sudden on his head. 
And he whose bad ambition dared 

A father's crown to seize, 
Found Treason's bitter doom prepared 

Anions: the for est- trees ! 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 255 



XVIII. 

HUMILITY. 



! learn that it is only by the lowly 

The paths of peace are trod ; 
If thou wouldst keep thy garments white and holy, 

Walk humbly with thy God. 

The man with earthly wisdom high-uplifted 

Is in God's sight a fool ; 
But he in heavenly truth most deeply gifted 

Sits lowest in Christ's school. 

The lowly spirit God hath consecrated 

As his abiding rest ; 
And angels by some patriarch's tent have waited, 

When kings had no such guest. 

The dew that never wets the flinty mountain 

Falls in the valleys free ; 
Bright verdure fringes the small desert-fountain, 

But barren sand the sea. 



256 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 

Not in the stately oak the fragrance dwelleth 

Which charms the general wood, 
But in the violet low, whose sweetness telle th 

Its unseen neighbourhood. 

The censer swung by the proud hand of merit 

Fumes with a fire abhorred ; 
But Faith's two mites, dropped covertly, inherit 

A blessing from the Lord. 

Bound lowliness a gentle radiance hovers, 

A sweet, unconscious grace ; 
Which, even in shrinking, evermore discovers 

The brightness on its face. 

Where God abides, Contentment is and Honour, 

Such guerdon Meekness knows ; 
His peace within her, and His smile upon her, 

Her saintly way she goes. 

Through the strait gate of life she passes stooping, 

With sandals on her feet ; 
And pure-eyed Graces, with linked palms come trooping, 

Their sister fair to greet. 

The angels bend their eyes upon her goings, 

And guard her from annoy ; 
Heaven fills her quiet heart with overflowings 

Of calm celestial joy. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 257 

The Saviour loves her, for she wears the vesture 

With which He walked on earth ; 
And through her childlike glance, and step, and gesture, 

He knows her heavenly birth. 

He now beholds this seal of glory graven 

On all whom He redeems, 
And in His own bright City, crystal-paven, 

On every brow it gleams. 

The white-robed saints, the throne-steps singing under, 

Their state all meekly wear ; 
Their pauseless praise wells up from hearts which wonder 

That ever they came there. 



258 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XIX. 

TO A CHKISTIAN FBIEND. 



I saw thee not till slow decay 

Had touched thy beauty's early bloom, 
Till grief had met thee on thy way 

And overcast thy life with gloom ; 
And yet, methought, thy face was bright 
With something of a heavenly light. 

Yes ! thine was beauty all unknown 

To those who live through cloudless days ; 

The Peace, possessed by them alone 
Who meekly walk on Sorrow's ways, 

Gleamed through thy spirit's fleshly veil, 

And brightened all thy features pale. 

The light of saintly Patience shone 

Serenely in thy quiet eye, 
And Hope thy marble brow upon 

Set the clear signet of the sky, — 
And Love, the angel, took thy hand 
To lead thee to Immanuel's land. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 259 

And Faith, that can the light of Heaven 
Beyond Time's drifting vapours see ; — 

All these to thee thy God had given, 
And He had taught thy soul to be 

Uplifted high without disdain, 

And greatly purified through pain. 

A darker path must yet be passed 
Before those radiant bounds appear, 

And anxious thoughts may overcast 
Thy spirit with a natural fear ; 

But, safe in everlasting arms, 

Thou need'st not dread unknown alarms. 

The shadows may fall dark and chill 

Upon thy lone mysterious way, 
But thou wilt go unto the hill 

Of frankincense, until the day 
Shall lighten in the rosy East, 
And wake thee up to endless rest. 



260 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XX. 

"He abideth faithful."— 2 Tnr. n. 13. 

Friends I love may die or leave me, 

Friends I trust may treacherous prove, 
But Thou never wilt deceive me, 

O my Saviour ! in Thy love. 
Change can ne'er this union sever, 

Death its links may never part, — 
Yesterday, to-day, for ever, 

Thou the same Redeemer art. 



On the cross love made Thee bearer 

Of transgressions not Thine own ; 
And that love still makes Thee sharer 

In our sorrows on the throne. 
From Thy glory Thou art bending 

Still on earth a pitying eye, 
And, 'mid angels' songs ascending, 

Hearest every mourner's cry. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 261 

In the days of worldly gladness, 

Cold and proud our hearts may be, 
But to whom, in fear and sadness, 

Can we go but unto Thee ? 
From that depth of gloom and sorrow 

Where Thy love to man was shown, 
Every bleeding heart may borrow 

Hope and strength to bear its own. 

Though the cup I drink be bitter, 

Yet since Thou hast made it mine, 
This Thy love will make it sweeter 

Than the world's best mingled wine. 
Darker days may yet betide me, 

Sharper sorrows I may prove ; 
But the worst will ne'er divide me, 

my Saviour ! from Thy love. 



262 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXI. 

EECOYEEY FKOM SICKNESS. 



How pleasant after days of pain, 

And nights retreating slow, 
To feel the genial air again 

Breathe freshly on the brow ! 
How sweet to leave the darkened room 

For open earth and sky, 
And feel the sunlight and the bloom 

Revive the languid eye ! 

"With lovelier tints each little flower 

That stars the hedge is clad, 
And every bird has sweeter power 

To make the spirit glad. 
Our pulses beat to Nature's chime, — 

We see the golden glow 
That was about us in the time 

Of childhood, long ago. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 2G3 

Joy comes in trances like the wind, — 

And in the after-calm, 
The heart interprets to the mind 

Creation's choral psalm ; 
We hear it, and we swell the song 

With Love's harmonious breath, — 
Adoring Him to whom belong 

The issues out of death. 

More fervent thoughts the spirit thrill, 

When words are sealed or slow ; 
The current of its bliss is still, 

But deep and swift of flow : 
For gladness sinks beneath the weight 

Of undeserved good, 
And meekness is the graceful mate 

That walks with gratitude. 

Oh, if to sick and weary hearts 

Such joy on earth be given, 
What is it when the saint departs 

To breathe the air of Heaven ! 
When from Earth's narrowness and gloom 

Gone out, with dazzled eyes 
He steps within the light and bloom 

Of God's pure Paradise ! 



264 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXII. 



THE SINNER'S HOPE. 



never shall the weary rest, 

Nor joy to drooping hearts be given, 
Till, like a vision pure and blest, 

Upon them hope has dawned from Heaven. 
In Earth's cold soil no balm may grow 

To cure the deepest wounds we feel ; 
The World moves onwards with its woe, 

And mocks the grief it cannot heal. 

No bliss unfading walks the earth 

Which is not native to the sky ; 
The power must be of heavenly birth 

Which gives us peace that will not die ; 
Then, only then, our spirits greet 

A hope immortally their own, — 
When, at the Saviour's gentle feet, 

They lay their every burden down. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 265 

In Him, through all the storms, and strife, 

And weariness of Time they rest ; 
This hope, the anchor of their life, 

Which keeps them safe, and makes them blest. 
To Him, and to His cross, it clings 

With sacred constancy and true ; 
And to the trustful heart it brings 

Not only peace but pureness too. 

Unquenched is still that guiding star 

Which shone of old in eastern skies ; 
Still, all that follow from afar 

It leads to where the Saviour lies ; 
There, only there, the weary rest, 

And joy to sorrowing hearts is given, — 
There, hope immortal fills the breast, 

And all around gleams light from Heaven ! 



266 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXIII. 



1 Ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, 

but unto mount Sion, the city of the living God." — Heb. 
xii. 18, 22. 



Not, Lord ! unto that mount of dread 

Thou bidst Thy people gather now, 
With clouds and darkness overspread, 

And fiery splendour round its brow ; 
But unto Sion, where Thy grace 

Rejoicing o'er Thy works is seen, 
And all Thy glory in the face 

Of Christ the Saviour shines serene. 

Not by the trumpet's stormy blast 

Thou bidst the hushed assembly hear 
Those words which in the thunder passed, 

And filled the holiest heart with fear ; 
But, in the still small voice which steals 

From the great glory where Thou art, 
Thy mercy tells of One who heals 

The anguish of the wounded heart. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 267 

O let that voice of heavenly power 

The movement of my spirit sway, — 
Thy presence in each darker hour 

Sustain my hope and guide my way ! 
That I may go from strength to strength 

In an ascending course to Thee, 
Till in Thine own pure light at length 

The perfectness of light I see. 



268 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXIV. 



TO A FKIEKD DEPAETED. 



The memory of thy truth to me 

My heart will ne'er resign, 
Until, beloved ! mine shall be 

As cold a bed as thine. 
High o'er my path of life it will 

Hang ever as a star, 
To cheer my steps toward the hill 

Where the immortal are. 

The lesson of thy gentle life, 

Thy trials meekly borne, 
Will keep me hopeful in the strife 

When fainting and out-worn ; 
Then, for a darker hour remains 

The memory of the faith 
That triumphed over mortal pains, 

And calmly fronted death. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATION-. 2G9 

I once had hoped that side by side 

Our journey we might go. 
And with a perfect love divide 

Our gladness and our woe ; 
But thou hast reached thy Father's home. 

And happier thou art there 
Than I. left wearily to roam 

Through days of grief and care. 

Though all is changed since thou art gone, 

I would not wish thee here. 
Far rather would I weep alone 

Than see thee shed a tear : — 
The thought of thy great happiness 

Is now a part of mine : 
Xor would I wish my sorrow le<s 

To see that sorrow thine. 



270 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXV. 



MEMOEIAL LIKES. 



I know tliy God hath given thee sweet releasing 

From the great woe thy gentle spirit bore, 
Yet in the heart still throbs the thought unceasing,- 

Beloved ! thou wilt come to us no more. 
No more ! although we feel thy sainted vision, 

The while we speak of thee, is lingering near, 
And know that, in the bliss of thy transition, 

Thou still rememberest us who mourn thee here. 

We loved, and still we love thee. What can sever 

This holy bond ? The spirit is not dust ; 
Sweet is thy memory in the soul for ever, 

And fondly guarded as a sacred trust. 
Dear was thy living image when before us 

It stood in all thy youthful beauty's glow, 
Yet still more dear thy spirit hovering o'er us 

Witli the bright crown of glory on its brow. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 271 

How oft the weary heart, its grief dissembling, 

Sees the cairn smile upon thy features still, 
And hears along its chords, like music trembling, 

The low clear tones to which it once would thrill ! 
The vision fades, — we feel we are forsaken, 

The gloom returns, the anguish and the care, — 
And tender longings in the heart awaken, 

Which wish thee here, though thou art happier there. 

Alas ! how far the Past outweighs the Present, — 

The forms that come no more the friends we see! 
How the lone spirit feels 'tis far less pleasant 

To smile with others than to weep for thee! 
Yet, in the struggle of its silent sorrow, 

The pining heart can sometimes break its chain, 
And from the Saviour's word this hope may borrow, — 

Beloved ! we shall see thee yet again. 



272 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 



XXVI. 

FAITH, HOPE, AND LOYE AT THE 
SEPULCHRE* 



" He is not here," Love said, while down her face 
Slowly the large tears of her trouble flow ; 
" They've borne Him hence, and whither who may 
know ? " 

Then straightway Faith and Hope, with rapid pace, 

Came running toward the tomb, — a holy race : 
And Faith did outrun Hope, and stooping low 
Saw the sweet-smelling cerements, pure as snow, 

Each calmly folded in its proper place, 

But paused on the threshold gazing. Hope, not grieved 

At his defeat, soon followed, nor delayed 
To enter in, and presently was cheered ; 
Faith also entered with him, and believed. 

Then homewards both returned ; but Love there stayed, 
And wept and waited till the Lord appeared. 

* The subject of this Sonnet must have been, unconsciously, 
suggested by a remembrance of some stanzas in Keble's " Christian 
Year ; " the triad there personified being Reason, Faith, and Love. 



HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 273 



XXVII. 



'I am a stranger with Thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers 
were."— Ps. xxxix. 12. 

' Peregrinis in terris nulla est jucundior recordatio quani suae civi- 
tatis." — Augustine. 



Though long the wanderer may depart, 

And far his footsteps roam, 
He clasps the closer to his heart 

The image of his home. 
To that loved land, where'er he goes, 

His tenderest thoughts are cast, 
And dearer still through absence grows 

The memory of the past. 

Though Nature on another shore 

Her softest smile may wear, 
The vales, the hills, he loved before 

To him are far more fair. 
The heavens that met his childhood's eye, 

All clouded though they be, 
Seem brjghter than the sunniest sky 

Of climes beyond the sea. 



274 HYMNS AND MEDITATIONS. 

So Faith, a stranger on the earth, 

Still turns its eye above ; 
The child of an immortal birth 

Seeks more than mortal love. 
The scenes of earth, though very fair, 

Want home's endearing spell ; 
And all his heart and hope are where 

His God and Saviour dwell. 

He may behold them dimly here, 

And see them as not nigh, 
But all he loves will yet appear 

Unclouded to his eye. 
To that fair City, now so far, 

Rejoicing he will come ; — 
A better light than Bethlehem's star 

Guides every wanderer home. 



ATLANTIS. 



Paradise, and groves 
Elysian, Fortunate Fields, like those of old 
Sought in the Atlantic Main, why should they be 
A history only of departed things, 
Or a mere fiction of what never was ? 
For the discerning intellect of Man, 
"When wedded to this goodly universe 
In love and holy passion, shall find these 
A simple produce of the common day. 

"Wordsworth. 



ATLANTIS. 



PART FIRST. 

I. 
The wind that through the blue air blows unspent, 
Bears thee, O ship ! to some far shore in pride ; 
Thy stately beauty charms the element 
"Wherein, with swanlike motion, thou dost glide ; 
The quick waves gleam around thee, and the wide 
Bare ocean glitters whither thou wilt go ; 
Checked to the gentlest pressure of thy guide, 
Thy giant strength is shifted to and fro, 
And soon will thrill to feel the steady trade-wind blow. 

II. 

Southward thou through the waves wilt scoop thy 

path, 
Whether in sultry quietness they sleep, 
Or fiercely trample round thee in their wrath, 
When the storm crashes from its cloudy steep ; 



278 ATLANTIS. 

Thou knowest all the secrets of the deep, 
And through her provinces art free to steer ; 
As the lone eagle floats in the wide sweep 
Of his aerial realm, thou on thy clear 
And level way dost move, unconscious of a fear. 

in. 
Yet free and fearless as thou sweepest on, 
These smiling seas in awful silence lay, 
Unfurrowed by a keel, through ages gone ; 
Man still is but a thing of yesterday 
To periods vast and dim, that stretch away 
Into the hoary past, when, still outspread 
As now, these bounds were guarded by the sway 
Of old traditions, and a sacred dread, 
And manifold wild dreams which Pagan fancy bred. 

IV. 

These limits to the elder world were haunted 
By visionary forms ; their misty bound 
Shut in a region, sunny and enchanted, 
That was Imagination's holy ground ; 
And bright-eyed Fantasy the place had crowned 
With the rich purple splendour of her dreams ; — 
There all immortal loveliness she found, 
The rippling light of golden-sanded streams, 
And azure skies suffused with amethystine gleams. 



ATLANTIS. 279 

V. 

Here seas in slumber clasped the happy isles, 
Which, to the old Ionian's tranced eyes, 
Unveiled their bloom of beauty * in the smiles 
Of an unwithering summer ; where the sighs 
Of fragrant west winds ever softly rise, 
And creep through groves in cloudy foliage drest, 
And sounds of unimagined melodies 
Float through the crystal air, and witch the rest 
There kept for souls assoiled, the spirits of the blest. 

VI. 

What though the portal of one sense was barred, 
When on the mind such visions crowded fast, 
And Nature's blank vacuity was starred 
With lights so beautiful, and gleams that cast 
The flush of all Elysium, as they passed ; 
When chiefs and sages of an earlier time, 
Whose names immortal as his song shall last, 
Smiled on their bard from that unfading clime, 
Each wearing, as of old, the beauty of his prime. 

VII. 

Fair visions these, which by the Poet's art 
Were glorified, but not less deeply shrined 
Among the old traditions of the heart ; 
His voice interpreted the thoughts that find 
An instant echo in the general mind, 

* See Note 1. 



280 ATLANTIS. 

And gave them local forms for its embrace, 
A pledge, though frail, it had not vainly pined 
For the enjoyment of some happier place, 
Where sorrow comes no more, nor leaves one wither- 
ing trace. 

VIII. 

There are electric thoughts which, as the flesh 
Clings to the living spirit within, entwine 
Their links in many a strong and subtle mesh 
About our mortal being ; which refine 
And dignify a nature once divine, 
Though now far sunken from its high estate ; 
Longings which search through nature for a sign 
That Life is not the sport of wayward fate, — 
That Man will not be left for ever desolate. 



IX. 

Hence the heart wooed the distant and the dim, 
And, passing forth from Man's familiar sphere, 
Sought tranquil seats beyond the vague blue rim 
Of Ocean ; * found a sanctuary there 
From the anxieties that blight and sear 
Its best affections, refuge from the strife, 
And wrong, and wretchedness that round it were, — 
A haven sheltered from the storms so rife 
Upon the open seas of this uncertain life. 

* See Note 2. 



ATLANTIS. 281 

X. 

The Present is made for us, — stern and cold 
It stands in mask of iron ; the Remote, 
Fluent and formless, runs in every mould 
In which the busy spirit shapes its thought. 
The fair Ideal we have vainly sought 
Through life we there behold reflected plain ; 
Its elements we colour as they float 
With our emotions, — in a bright domain 
The mind there roams at large, escaping from its chain. 

XI. 

So pilgrims, faring on through deserts bare, 
Still think that from each far and quivering hill 
They will behold green fields and valleys fair : 
There lies the smiling region where the rill 
Freshens the air, and crystal waters fill 
The well that gushes up the reeds among ; 
So, weaving pleasant fancies at their will, 
They strive to banish, as they toil along, 
The dreary images that round about them throng. 

XII. 

It might be in the times when Tyre sent forth 
Her stately argosies to every shore, 
From rich Sofala to the stormy north, 
Some galley, as from Britain south she bore, 
Deep-freighted from her mines with massy ore, 

T 



282 ATLANTIS. 

Had, struck by tempest, from the neighbouring coast 
Been driven far out to sea ; and labouring sore, 
With shattered rudder, many days been tossed, 
And many a starless night, through seas till then un- 
crossed. 

XIII. 

Not yet by man in brazen ring was swung 
That needle to the pole-star trembling true, 
Wherewith its secret from the deep he wrung ; 
So for an instant doom the hapless crew 
Stood ready, when a watery sun-gleam threw 
A brightness where a steadfast cloud appeared, 
And presently the peaks of mountains blue 
Loomed through the mist, and sinking hearts were 
cheered, 
And for that welcome strand right joyously they steered. 

XIV. 

But when the clear prevailing light had cloven 
The loaded air, and fast as April snows 
Dissolved those coils of vapours interwoven 
That swathed the hills, how fair a vision rose 
Before their aching eyes, — the soft repose 
Of sunshine on the umbrage of the woods : 
How sweet to woo each balmy wind that blows, 
To feel the unutterable charm that broods 
O'er Nature's ancient haunts and sacred solitudes ! 



ATLANTIS. 283 

XV. 

Clear brooks ran down through laurel-shaded coves, 

From out an unpruned wilderness of bloom; 

The warm air over aromatic groves 

Was tingling, stifled with the sweet perfume, — 

And golden fruits were hanging in the gloom 

Of thickets, — flowers looped up in gorgeous braids 

From branch to branch, — and palms of emerald 

plume, 
And cypress-spires towered over sunny glades, — 
And many a silvered stem glanced dim up far arcades. 

XVI. 

"Was not a sound heard in the sultry noon, 
Save the waves washing dull in many a bay, — 
The flow of Ocean, in its drowsy swoon, 
Round many a wooded steep and headland gray ; 
And well that murmur with the sleep that lay 
On mount and forest blended ; far and wide 
Spread Xature's wild, magnificent array, 
Now first unveiling, like an Indian bride 
In festive splendour decked, and rich barbaric pride. 

XVII. 

A place — an hour — in which the mind receives 
A sense of grandeur all unknown before, — 
The impression of a joy which never leaves 
The heart, and, quickening, thrills it to the core ; 



284 ATLANTIS. 

And when the wanderers left this charmed shore, 
They deemed that they had looked upon a scene 
Shut out from mortal sight from evermore, — 
In trance beheld the impenetrable screen 
That girdled Eden round with walls of living green. 

XVIII. 

Their joy was tempered by a sacred awe 
That checked presumption ; hence there went abroad 
The rumour from Phoenicia, that they saw 
In these far seas a faery isle * that glowed 
With beauty not of earth, — that Heaven bestowed, 
In gracious sympathy with their distress, 
A vision of the deep retired abode 
Of happy spirits, the serene recess 
Where endless years flow on in peace and pleasantness. 

XIX. 

A fable it might be, — but fables speak 
The heart's embodied longings, and it clings, 
When reft of better guidance, worn and weak, 
To every hollow oracle that brings 
Its semblance, as the vine will clasp its rings 
And tendrils round the dead or living bough ; 
Toward each far-seen, beckoning hope it springs, 
And holds it fast, if haply it may show 
Some antidote for ill, some healing balm for woe. 
* See Note 3. 



ATLANTIS. 285 

XX. 

Man cannot crush the instincts of the soul 
Still pining for expansion large and free, 
And striving to maintain their just control 
Over the spirit ; so if aught there be 
That seems an echo from Eternity, 
He hails it,* though it sounds but to deceive ; — 
The ship, nigh foundering in the Arctic Sea, 
Will grapple to the iceberg, and we cleave 
To every desperate hope that our sick fancies weave. 

XXI. 

Nor let us, fallen on better days, condemn 
The faith, too credulous, of antique ages ; — 
Our light and truth were not sent forth to them 
Out of the oracle of God, — those pages, 
Whence the immortal voice of saints and sages 
Still speaks, were sealed and shrouded from their 

view, — 
And for the living water which assuages 
Our thirst, they, far from Heaven's descending dew, 
Digged many a desert well, and brackish water drew. 

XXII. 

Oh, sore must be the struggle and the strife 
The while the weary heart thus seeks to earn 
Some higher strength to bear the load of life ! 
They strained their faltering vision to discern 
* See Note 4. 



286 ATLANTIS. 

Some heavenly sign that what they fain would learn 
Would be revealed, — but vainly so they hoped ; 
With doubts and mysteries, whose voices stern 
Eung through the world's great void, they feebly coped, 
And through the thickening gloom their darksome 
journey groped. 

XXIII. 

To seek amidst Life's shadowy forms to clasp 
Assurance to the heart with passionate strain, 
And feel the phantom melting from the grasp, — 
To break of Circumstance the heavy chain 
Which rusts into the spirit, and attain 
To freedom from its close-entangling coil, — 
For this they strove, but spent their strength in vain ; 
In sweat of soul they searched a barren soil, 
But found no rich return to recompense their toil. 

XXIV. 

As one, who, by the Sacramento's stream, 
Day after day his search for treasure plies, 
His hot brain fevered with a golden dream, 
And scoops the sand, and bends with earnest eyes 
Above it, raking for the glittering prize, 
But still, with bitter disappointment curst, 
No grain nor ruddy scale there sparkling lies, — 
So madly toils with never-sated thirst, 
Until too late he sees the specious bubble burst. 



ATLANTIS. 287 

XXV. 

For never can the anxious heart rejoice 
In firm assurance of a truth possest, 
Till Heaven breaks silence, and its solemn voice 
Awakes an answering echo in the breast ; 
One only hand can lead it into rest, — 
In all its doubt an all-sufficient stay ; 
And every guide whom, in its fruitless quest, 
It follows, tempts its footsteps far astray 
Into a howling waste, wherein it finds no way. 



28S ATLANTIS. 



PAET SECOND. 
I. 

Fair art thou, Island of the Southern Sea ! 
Which in these later years to me hast been 
The home my native land may never be ; 
An undeparting spring-time smiles serene 
Along thy shores ; thy hills and valleys green 
With Nature's sweetest affluence are crowned ; 
And if the mind some soft enchanting scene 
Would image, it might roam the earth around 
And find no lovelier vision in its ample bound. 

ii. 
They called thee in the old time Isle of Groves, 
Lifting thy cloud of forests from the deep ; * 
And fair are still thy woody mountain coves, 
The verdurous gloom of inland gorge and steep, 
Where ancient Silence loves a shrine to keep 
Inviolate ; fair thy leafy coverts calm, 
Whereon the sultry sunlight loves to sleep, — 
Where, waving languidly its fronds, the palm 
O'erhangs the citron groves, and thickets breathing 
balm. 

* See Note 5. 



ATLANTIS. 289 

III. 

Yet a mysterious wildness, all thine own, 
With Nature's softer grace is reconciled 
And blended, where, upon her rocky throne, 
Mists surging round, and cloud on cloud high-piled 
Above, sits Majesty, and looks o'er wild 
Volcanic hollows, ridges shagged with wood, 
And rugged chasms where moonlight never smiled, 
Where chafes the torrent in its channel rude, 
And with a far- heard murmur fills the solitude. 

IV. 

But let the vapours leave thy flinty peaks, 
And melt in ether like a cloud of dew, 
Whether at Even, when sunset's mellow streaks 
Flush their dark summits with a purple hue, 
Or when in Morning's sky of stainless blue 
They rise so delicately sharp and clear, 
And all is gentlest Beauty to the view, — 
Veiled with a shadowy brightness, they appear 
Forms of the element to earth descending near. 

v. 

It breathes around us, this ethereal charm, 
This blandness, native unto climes like thine, 
The sweetly-tingling spirit of this warm 
And golden air, and deep-blue skies that shine, 
A luminous dome based on the quivering line 



290 ATLANTIS. 

Of Ocean, overvaulting the expanse 
Of mount and dale, slopes dusky with the vine, 
Cornfield and woodland which delight the glance, 
With rich and waving breadths of green luxuriance. 



VI. 

Dark frown thy cliffs of bronze along the verge 
Of ocean, — walls of adamant, they show 
A calm, embattled front to the loud surge, 
And shatter back its foam in flakes of snow : 
There towers thy Mountain Cape, — his swarthy brow 
The mist swathes like a turban, — the deep roar 
Of breaking surf comes muffled from below, — 
And, on his watch, he listens evermore 
To waves that wail along the solitary shore. 



VII. 

All round thee stretch the illimitable seas, 
Fair, whether glassed in calmness broad and bright, 
Or ruffling into darkness with the breeze, — 
A glorious symbol of the Infinite, 
That thrills the spirit with a deep delight, 
Or sways it with as deep mysterious dread, 
As now, when looking forth upon the night 
I see the cold, dim gleam the stars have shed 
On those grey weltering waves, in loneliness outspread. 



ATLANTIS. 291 

VIII. 

And here and there white pools of moonlight lie 
Upon the tremulous waters, strangely blent 
With the deep shadows of a chequered sky ; 
But high in heaven, the Moon in her ascent 
Has purified the clear blue element 
From clouds ; and underneath that sparkling chain 
Of stars, a fleece of wandering vapours rent 
On the pure darkness casts a fleeting stain, 
And melts into the air in warm and murmuring rain. 

IX. 

Up the soft vagueness of that wavering air 
Some fascination lures the eye to gaze, 
As if these stars so calmly shining there 
Were mystic cyphers traced by Him who sways 
Our mortal destiny, and shapes our ways ; 
As if the mind, more spiritual and free, 
Its thoughts a while above itself could raise, 
And apprehend more clearly things that be 
Hid in the luminous depth of His Eternity. 

x. 

The radiance flecks the hills and groves around 

With ebon shadow, — like a mist it falls 

On the steep city, and its castled mound, 

And dwellings scattered up the slopes, whose walls 

Glance through embowering trees at intervals, 



292 ATLANTIS. 

And convent-domes whose burnished sheathing glows 
With pale star-fire ; the peaceful scene recals 
Some old Arabian dream, and overflows 
With a delicious charm of languor and repose. 

XI. 

A blooming Isle — a clime beloved of Heaven 
And far secreted in the ocean-tide, 
As if to some more favoured people given, 
Where in a safe retreat they might abide, 
And years of innocence might calmly glide 
Away, in scenes by Peace and Freedom blest. 
For such a spot the war-worn Roman sighed, 
Where he might live forgotten and at rest,* 
Shut out from every care that might his life molest. 

XII. 

Yet as a seeming joy will sometimes wreathe 
The pliant features with a hollow smile, 
While care is fretting restlessly beneath, 
So Nature's face the fancy may beguile ; 
A blight is on thy beauty, summer Isle ! 
Who but would mourn thy people's sad estate, 

• So blest, and yet so sunken and so vile, 

Slaves of a creed beneath whose deadening weight 

All genial aims of life lie crushed and desolate ? 
* See Note 6. 



ATLANTIS. 293 

XIII. 

Not theirs the faitli which to the heart appeals, 
And makes it love all things that lovely be ; 
Not theirs the noble port of him who feels 
His soul immortal, and his conscience free ; 
Though at the name of Christ they bend the knee, 
From them is sealed the holy Book of God, 
Man's birthright and his charter ; and we see 
Rome's branded vassal kiss her iron rod, 
And crouch to the proud power that on his soul hath trod. 

XIV. 

Thus abject ignorance and slavish gloom 
The native honour of the soul deface, — 
The immortal spirit pines amidst the bloom 
And beauty of its earthly dwelling-place ; 
Man's mighty ruin mocks the living grace 
Of Nature ; like some pile, once fair and grand, 
Now scathed and riven by lightning to its base, 
Whose crumbling towers and wind-worn arches stand 
More wildly desolate amidst a smiling land. 

XV. 

And now, ill-fated Isle ! upon thee lies 
A guilt that may perchance be unforgiven, 
That madly thou hast turned away thine eyes 
From the clear light that sometime shone from 
Heaven, — 



294: ATLANTIS. 

Against thy proper good hast blindly striven, — 
Thy noblest children, who stood forth to brave 
Thy frenzy, from thy bosom thou hast driven,* 
To nurse a drooping hope beyond the wave, 
And on some alien shore to find an exile's grave. 

xvi. 

Thy Church, to sanctify the deed of shame, 
Baptized it holy zeal, but blackest guilt 
May stalk abroad beneath the holiest name ; 
Yet be it, lordly Priestcraft ! as thou wilt, — 
It is a hollow fabric that is built 
On falsehood, proudly though a while it tower ; 
The captive's groan, the martyr's life-blood spilt, 
Cry out with instant voices for the hour 
Which shall behold the fall of thy detested power. 

XVII. 

Thy rulers, hapless Nation ! in the praise 
Of Freedom can speak speciously and well, 
But from such lips as theirs the stately phrase 
Bings falsa and hollow as a juggling spell ; 
For when could sacred Freedom ever dwell 
Where Conscience cringes to a priestly guide ? 
Let the long struggle of the nations tell 
How oft the heavenly flower has drooped and died 
Beneath the blasting tree that shadows Tiber's tide. 
* See Note 7. 



ATLANTIS. 205 

XVIII. 

No ! Man must learn that from the free-born soul 
The insufferable yoke must first be thrown, 
"Which would its chartered energies control ; 
In the mind's inner region he must own 
No lord, no master, but his God alone, 
Ere in his outward life the ennobling sense 
And princely might of Freedom can be known, 
And, with a princely largesse, can dispense 
Those sweetest gifts which are Life's beauty and defence. 

XIX. 

Such liberty, my native land ! is thine, — 
Thy hills rise blue before me o'er the wave, 
And my heart proudly beats to call thee mine ; 
Though here, an exile, not by choice, I crave 
A dwelling from the stranger, and a grave 
May find, not distant, in an alien clime, 
The thought, 'twas thou that being to me gave, 
Which with ingenuous gladness filled my prime, 
Hath blessed with holier joy these years of adverse 
time. 

xx. 
"Wild are thy shores, and with a granite zone 
Has Nature bound thee, nor thine aspect vies 
"With the soft beauty which I look upon; 
Ungentle is thy clime, austere thy skies, 



296 ATLANTIS. 

Nor purple with the vine thy hills arise, 
Nor sweet with myrtle ; yet has Heaven bestowed 
Blessings on thee no sensuous charm supplies, — 
Made thee of old Eeligion's calm abode, 
The consecrated shrine where Freedom's lamp hath 
glowed. 

XXI. 

Exalted memories throw around thy hills 
And vales a charm which ever shall endure, 
And many a sacred thought the spirit thrills 
In the grey glen, or on the upland moor, 
Where from his fern-grown cave or cottage door 
Was dragged the high-souled peasant to his death, 
When, witness for his simple faith and pure, 
He knelt untroubled on his native heath, 
A nd for his murderers breathed in prayer his latest breath . 

XXII. 

Nor yet is that impassioned fervour gone 
Which rose to such heroic heights of old ; 
It lives, a shaping influence, which has thrown 
Thy native virtue into nobler mould, 
And stamped thy manly bearing firm and bold, — 
Thy household thoughts and speech to loftier mood 
This generous force hath lifted, and controlled 
Thy being, to its deepest core imbued 
With reverence for all pure, severer types of good. 



ATLANTIS. 297 

XXIII. 

Upon this broad and firm foundation based, 
The eminent temple of thy Freedom stands, 
Still in its chaste proportions undefaced; 
Religion swayed the hearts and nerved the hands 
That slowly reared that glory of the lands, 
And thence its stateliness and strength have sprung ; 
Beholding it from far my soul expands, — 
I see a magic light around thee flung, 
Which never was on those fair isles whereof I sung. 

XXIV. 

This spiritual gleam hath beautified 
Thy wilder scenes for ever to the mind, 
As the selected region where abide 
Life's choicest blessings ; where the ties that bind 
Our human hearts in love and concord kind 
Preserve a holy strength ; where virtues mild, 
And sweetest charities and hopes, are shrined, — 
Truth, meek-eyed Peace, Religion's gentle child, 
With vestal Purity, and Honour undefiled. 

XXV. 

Where Man lies blighted, Nature blooms no more, — 
Where the dull spirit's eye reflects no glow, 
What charm in gorgeous lights on sea and shore ? 
Therefore to me the lovelier art thou, 
My country ! this clear glory on thy brow, 

U 



298 ATLANTIS. 

These blessings showered upon thee from above ; 
And, such experience gained, I love thee now 
With a far deeper and more thoughtful love 
Than might in earlier days the unheeding spirit move. 

XXVI. 

Be this the spirit of my ending strain, — 
These solitary musings let me raise 
To prayer, that strength be given thee to maintain 
Unsoiled that Christian faith which was thy praise 
Of old ; to stand upon the good old ways 
Which led thy youth to fame ; to guard the wise 
And pure traditions of thine earlier days, 
But chief that sacred Law, wherein there lies 
The bulwark and the pledge of thy great liberties. 

XXVII. 

So that thou never from this covenant swerve, 
That Hand which has exalted thee so long 
Will keep thee high in honour, and preserve 
Thy coasts inviolate from assault of wrong ; 
Then happier than the fabled isles of song 
The nations shall behold thee, and confess 
Heaven's favour makes thy seagirt border strong, 
And on, through brightening centuries, shall bless 
Thy bounds with golden years and fruitful quietness. 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 



(1.)— PART I. STANZA Y. 

The happy isles, 
Which, to the old Ionian's tranced eyes, 
Unveiled their bloom of beauty. 

The Atlantides, Hesperides, or Fortunate Islands, placed 
by the Greek poets in the Western Ocean, at the farthest 
limits of the earth, are described by Homer in the fourth 
book of the Odyssey : — 

" Stern winter smiles on that auspicious clime, 
The fields are florid with unfading prime ; 
From the bleak pole no winds inclement blow, 
Mould the round hail, or flake the fleecy snow; 
But from the breezy deep the blest inhale 
The fragrant murmurs of the western gale." 

The spirit of the old classic legends has been finely 
caught by Milton in the exquisite descriptive lines which 
he puts into the mouth of the Spirit in his Comus: — 

"To the Ocean now I fly, 
And those happy climes that lie 
Up in the broad fields of the sky; 



302 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 

There I suck the liquid air, 
All amidst the gardens fair 
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three, 
That sing about the golden tree ; 
Along the crisped shades and bowers 
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring; 
The Graces, and the rosy-bosomed Hours, 
Thither all their bounties bring : 
That there eternal Summer dwells, 
And west winds with musky wing, 
About the cedarn alleys fling 
Nard and cassia's balmy smells." 



(2.)— STANZA IX. 

Tranquil seats beyond the vague blue rim 
Of Ocean. 

The idea of an inhabited country in the Atlantic, beyond 
the Pillars of Hercules, so widely current in ancient times, 
was, according to Plutarch, imported into Greece from 
Egypt by Solon the Athenian legislator. He is said to 
have lived for a considerable time in Egypt, and to have 
conversed with the most learned of the Egyptian priest- 
hood on points of philosophy ; and having received from 
them an account of the Atlantic Island, he attempted to 
describe it to the Greeks in a poem. This poem gave 
birth to the philosophical romance of Plato's Timaeus, 
which again is the prototype of many modern works in 
that kind, — among which the principal are Sir Thomas 
More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Barclay's Argenis, 
and Harrington's Oceana. 

Plato speaks of Solon having been very honourably 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 303 

received at Sais, the chief city of the Delta, where the in- 
habitants professed to be friends of the Athenians, through 
a certain bond of alliance of ancient date. On his inquir- 
ing more closely into this alleged alliance, he discovered 
that the oldest Greek traditions only reached back to a 
period that appeared as yesterday, when compared with 
the certain knowledge of antiquity the Egyptians professed 
to have. One of their more ancient priests exclaimed, 
" Solon, Solon ! you Greeks are always children : nor 
is there any such thing as an aged person among you." 
Accordingly he informed him, that a description of the 
transactions of the Egyptian city during a space of eight 
thousand years was preserved in their sacred writings. 
At that remote period there likewise flourished a city of 
Athenians, whose civil institutions and illustrious achieve- 
ments were celebrated as the most excellent of all that 
were known under the ample circumference of heaven. 
With this people the kings of the Atlantic Island had 
waged long and unsuccessful war. (See Timaeus.) Crantor, 
the first interpreter of Plato, asserts that the history of 
these events was said by the Egyptian priests of his time 
to be still preserved inscribed on pillars. 

The existence at some remote period of an island of 
much greater size than any now found in the Atlantic 
has been conceived not at all improbable by some modern 
writers. Kircher supposes it to have been an island ex- 
tending from the Canaries to the Azores ; that it was 
really engulphed in one of the convulsions of the globe, 
and that those small islands are mere shattered fragments 
of it. (See Note to W. Irving' s Life of Columbus.) At 
one time it was believed that this island could be nothing 
else than the American continent, which in that case must 
have been discovered by some Phoenician Columbus. The 



304 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 

author of a curious old work, entitled Speculum Mundi, 
or, A Glasse representing the Face of the World, says : — 
" I think it may be supposed that America was sometime 
part of that great land which Plato calleth the Atlantick 
Island, and that the kings of that island had some inter- 
course between the people of Europe and Africa. But 
when it happened that this island became a sea, time 
wore out the remembrance of remote coun treys ; and that 
upon this occasion, namely, by reason of the mud, and 
dirt, and other rubbish of the island. For when it sank 
it became a sea, which at the first was full of mud ; and 
thereupon could not be sailed untill a long time after; 
yea, so long that such as were the seamen in those dayes 
were either dead before the sea came to be clear again, or 
else sunk with the island : the residue, being little expert 
in the art of navigation, might, as necessitie taught them, 
sail in some certain boats from island to island ; but not 
venturing further, their memorie perished. And not 
onely so, but also thus: this island sinking might so 
damm up the sea, that neither those that were in these 
parts did ever attempt to seek any land that wayes to the 
westwards, nor yet those that were remaining upon that 
part of the island that did not sink, would ever attempt 
to seek any land unto the eastwards, and so the one forgot 
the other."— Cambridge, 1643. 

The Portuguese Jesuit, Pad. Antonio Cordeyra, in his 
Hist. Insula Lusitana, Lisbon, 1717, has expended much 
remarkable erudition and scholastic subtilty on the 
discussion of this visionary topic, and considers the opi- 
nion of the existence of any such island a pestilent heresy. 
According to Plato, the kings and nations of Atlantis 
conquered Spain, and, as quoted by Cordeyra, lorded it 
over a great part of that country (senhorear&o grande 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 305 

parte della.) The Jesuit's patriotism is sorely wounded 
by this careless remark, and his answer is the lie direct : 
— " This statement is an evident falsehood, because from 
the most ancient and general histories of the world, and 
in particular those of Spain, we are acquainted with all 
the kings who were in it from the flood of Noah unto this 
day ; and of none of them does any author relate, but 
Plato only dreamed it, that he was conquered by the 
inhabitants of Atlantis, nor that any of them had wars 
with these people ; so that the chimerical Atlantis of 
Plato is only a fancy, and is not true." That this state- 
ment of a certain historical knowledge of all the kings who 
reigned in Spain from the era of the Flood is not a mere 
rhetorical flourish, Cordeyra immediately proceeds to show 
by giving a catalogue of them, and entering into copious 
details of the events that happened under their reigns. 
The first king of that Catholic realm was Tubal, the fifth 
son of Japheth, and grandson of Noah. He was born in 
Armenia, and set out on a voyage of discovery through 
the Mediterranean, which he navigated till he emerged by 
the Straits of Gibraltar into the ocean. Not wishing, as 
Cordeyra suggests, to run the risk of another deluge, he 
turned to the right, coasting along till he came to the 
mouth of a river, where he landed, and founded the city 
Athubala, i. e., the city of Tubal. This is now Setubal, a 
celebrated town and harbour, six leagues from the royal 
city of Lisbon. This event happened 145 years after the 
Flood, a.m. 1801, B.C. 2161. Tubal reigned 155 years, and 
died 300 years after the Flood. He was buried on the 
lofty promontory afterwards called C;tpe St Vincent, 
"having always," in the concise eulogiuni of his bio- 
grapher, " observed Nature's law of one only God, and 
the Hebrew tongue, and leaving a great part of Spain 



306 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 

peopled, especially the place of his original settlement, 
known in after times as Lusitania." 

The giant Nembroth, it would appear, was troublesome 
in Spain in those days. He was the grandson of Ham, 
and probably finding Africa lonely, crossed the Straits, 
and gave his name to the river Ebro. The fourteenth 
king of Spain, in direct line from Tubal, was Hesperus. 
He had a brother, Atlante, who came from Italy, and in- 
vaded the dominions of Hesperus. Assisted by the Por- 
tuguese, the invader fought various battles, and finally 
vanquished Hesperus, and drove him from Spain. Such, 
according to Cordeyra, is the historic enucleation of the 
Platonic myth. The Atlantic Island was Italy, the king- 
was Atlante, and the strange people were his Italian 
forces, and Portuguese allies. Out of the single name, 
Atlante, the magical web of Egyptian and Greek romance 
was spun. 



(3.)-STANZA XVIII. 

There went abroad 
The rumour from Phoenicia, that they saw 
In these far seas a faery isle. 

It seems now to be generally admitted that the dis- 
coveries of those early and enterprising navigators, the 
Phoenicians, were the nucleus of the myths of Atlas, the 
Islands of the Blessed, and the Gardens of the Hesperides, 
which were so richly embellished by the poetic fancies of 
the Greeks. Humboldt, in a note on Mount Atlas, in his 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 307 

Ansichtcn der Natur, has inserted a communication from 
Professor Ideler (a scholar whose laborious industry belies 
his name), whose authority he considers decisive. Accord- 
ing to him, the Phoenicians had visited, among other re- 
gions, " the Archipelago of the Canary Isles, where their 
attention was arrested by the Peak of TenerifFe." He pro- 
ceeds to say, "Through their colonies established in Greece, 
especially under Cadmus in Bceotia, the Greeks were made 
acquainted with the existence of this mountain, which 
soared high above the region of clouds, and with the ' For- 
tunate Islands/ on which this mountain was situated, and 
which were adorned with fruits of all kinds, and particu- 
larly with the golden orange. By the transmission of this 
tradition through the songs of the bards, Homer became 
acquainted with these remote regions, and he speaks of an 
Atlas to whom all the depths of ocean are known, and who 
bears upon his shoulders the great columns which separate 
from one another the heavens and the earth, and of the 
Elysian Plains, described as a wondrously beautiful land 
in the west." 

The conclusion to which the learned Professor comes, 
and in which the encyclopedic Humboldt implicitly ac- 
quiesces, is that " the Atlas of Homer and Hesiod can be 
none other than the Peak of Teneriffe, while the Atlas of 
Greek and Eoman geographers must be sought in the 
north of Africa." This much-vexed question may there- 
fore be considered as set at rest. 



308 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 



(4.)-STANZA XX. 

If aught there be 
That seems an echo from Eternity, 
He hails it. 

Those legends which told of remote islands in the 
ocean, peopled at some distant period by innocent and 
happy races, however worthless they may be in point of 
substantive historic truth, possess a deep significance of 
another kind. They are valuable as showing that retro- 
spective tendency of the mind, which stands out so pro- 
minent in the religious faith of antiquity. Traditions may 
be mere floating leaves, but they are leaves inscribed with 
sibylline characters, and borne on a strong current. They 
mark in what direction the tides of human feeling and 
thought were setting, during periods of which little more 
can be known. They show how the fancies, and desires, 
and sorrowful remembrances of men were, amidst the 
darkness of heathenism, reaching restlessly back to a time 
of innocence that was gone. The world's golden age was 
never in the present. It lay far away in the past, and man 
could only stretch forth his hands as to a heritage of happi- 
ness and peace which he had lost for ever. A rude coin, 
struck in a forgotten mint, and turned up by the plough- 
share, may throw light on some grand movement of na- 
tions or armies ; and these dim-featured myths, like medals 
dropped by ancient generations on their mysterious march, 
often show, through the green mould which covers them, 
the stamp of some half-defaced but kingly thought. Their 
uncouth and faded cyphering may stand for some truth, 
which is not for one time or another, but lives, as the 
short motto of a long experience, in the language of the 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 309 

universal heart. May they not be regarded as fragments 
of original tradition, borne away by the scattered races of 
mankind, when the bond of their primeval unity was 
broken, — relics of an earlier faith, which were afterwards 
embedded like fossils in the superstitions which encrusted 
them ? In Cudworth's vast work, which may be called a 
limbics philosophorum, one seems to see in Orphic hymns, 
Chaldaic oracles, and the liturgies of Persian fire-worship 
(the symbol to the Magi of the hidden God, or Mithras, 
father and maker of all things), the shadowy outlines of 
a religion older than all of them, looking out upon him 
through the mists of ages. In this sense we might venture 
to apply Wordsworth's fine lines in his " Ode on Intima- 
tions of Immortality," descriptive of the experience of the 
individual mind, to the larger consciousness of the world, 
as it receded from the happier days of its childhood: — 

" Heaven lies about us in our infancy ! 
Shades of the prison-house begin to close 

Upon the growing Boy, 
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 

He sees it in his joy ; 
The Youth, who daily farther from the East 
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest, 

And by the vision splendid 

Is on his way attended. 
At length the Man perceives it die away, 
And fade into the light of common day." 

These undefined impressions again gave birth to a vague 
yearning or expectation, it cannot be called a belief, that 
man's lost inheritance would be one day restored. To 
such faltering utterances of a better hope, a recent writer 
has given the name of the " Unconscious Prophecies of 
Heathendom.' 5 See Trench's Jhdsean Lectures for 1846. 

The philosophic importance of Presentiment, as a fact 



310 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 

(be the explanation what it may) in man's spiritual na- 
ture, is more than hinted at in the remarkable words of 
Shak spear e: — 

" The prophetic soul 
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come." 
In this outlying region of thought, this dim border- 
ground, or " debateable land," between the realms of fable 
and reality, which has been so imperfectly surveyed, we 
come with wonder on this solitary and gigantic footprint 
left there so long ago. 



(5. )— P ART II. STANZA II. 

They called thee in the old time Isle of Groves, 
Lifting thy cloud of forests from the deep. 

The name Madeira, which means wood in Portuguese, 
was given to the island by the discoverers, from the forests 
with which it was covered to the summit. In order to 
clear the ground for their first settlements, the colonists 
set fire at various points to this jungle. According to early 
chroniclers, this fire burnt for six months; and this is the 
reason popularly assigned for so few singing birds being 
found in the island. 



(6.)— STANZA XI. 

For such a spot the war-worn Roman sighed, 
Where he might live forgotten and at rest. 

This is related of Sertorius in his life by Plutarch. The 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 311 

story he has preserved is, that when the veteran soldier 
was at Boetica in Spain, he conversed with some mariners 
who had lately arrived from the Atlantic Islands. These, 
says the historian, are two in number, separated only by a 
narrow channel, and are at the distance of 400 leagues 
from the African coast. They are called the Fortunate 
Islands. Eain seldom falls there, — there are soft breezes 
and rich dews. The inhabitants live in enjoyment and 
ease. The air is always pleasant and salubrious, through 
the happy temperature of the seasons, and their insensible 
transition into each other. There is a refreshing moisture 
diffused by the mild south winds from the sea. Sertorius, 
hearing those wonderful accounts, conceived a strong de- 
sire to fix himself in these islands, where he might live in 
perfect tranquillity, at a distance from the evils of tyranny 
and war. 

Singularly enough, also, the much-enduring Ulysses, the 
man of many counsels, was fabled to have set forth in his 
old age in quest of new discoveries, and to have reached 
the ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules, where all further 
trace of him was lost. One of the finest episodes in the 
Divina Commedia of Dante describes this last voyage 
of the old-world adventurer in a high strain of poetry. 
It may only have been one of the floating legends of the 
heroic age in Greece, — one of the mendacious audacities 
for which she was reproached, with curious inconsistency, 
by a nation which cheerfully received as authentic the 
apocryphal narratives of Livy; but there is something in 
the spirit of the wild romantic enterprise which will ever 
make it highly fascinating to a poetic imagination. 

In modern times, when one would have thought the last 
vestiges of mystery would have vanished, like ghosts at 
cock-crow, from these beaten highways of commercial 



312 NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 

enterprise, it is remarkable with what obstinacy the inhabi- 
tants of the Canaries have clung to a belief in the existence 
of an imaginary island in their own neighbourhood. It is 
called the Island of St Brandan, a Scottish abbot of the 
sixth century, who is said to have discovered a mysterious 
island in the ocean, while searching for some enchanted 
region, of which the rumour had been borne to him, — an 
earthly paradise, but inhabited by infidels. It was visible 
at intervals, and so general was the conviction of its reality 
that it was laid down in maps. It is described as a 
" mountainous island, about ninety leagues in length, lying 
far to the westward. It was only seen in perfectly clear 
and serene weather. To some it seemed one hundred 
leagues distant, to others forty, to others only fifteen or 
eighteen. On attempting to reach it, however, it somehow 
or other eluded the search, and was nowhere to be found." 
So recently as 1721, an expedition sailed from Teneriffe in 
quest of it. But, though fortified by the presence of two 
friars, who were sent to propitiate the capricious saint, St 
Brandan made no sign, and his island remained invisible. 
In 1759, a Franciscan monk gave a minute description of 
it in a private letter, as it appeared to himself from the 
village of Alaxero, at six in the morning of the 3d of 
May. 

There was a similar tradition current in the time of 
Columbus respecting the Island of the Seven Cities. It 
has been conjectured that shadowy reflections of land and 
trees visible in certain states of the atmosphere, like the 
Fata Morgana of the Sicilian seas, may have given rise to 
these legendary tales. (See W. Irving' s Notes to Life of 
Columbus.) 



NOTES TO ATLANTIS. 313 

(7.)— STANZA XV. 

Thy noblest children, who stood forth to brave 
Thy frenzy, from thy bosom thou hast driven. 

The allusion in this and the succeeding stanzas is to the 
persecutions of the native Protestants, which, within the 
last ten years, have given this island an ill-omened cele- 
brity. Only a passing reference to these unhappy events 
is here admissible. Let it suffice to say that the outrages 
to which a bigoted priesthood gave its sanction were 
worthy of the worst times of the Church of Rome, and 
that the courage and constancy with which they were en- 
dured read like passages from the annals of the early 
Church under the reign of a Decius or a Diocletian. 



THE END.